Taking the Plunge

The dunes are doused in mist.
We spread our towels in parallel,

pilgrims at picnic. The shore
drifts gently down to where a

quizzical tide laps dapples
of sand. We dimple their cheeks

with sticks, with laggard toes.
Sea looks untidy, skint:

it lugs a rumpled rug of water
to our bare feet, impenitent.

You test the shallows' etiquette,
whilst I, stumping the ebb,

thrash out to the west edge
of my depth. The ripples drawl

across your legs or else lisp
lazily through your whispering fingers.

Diving up to my ankles, I
surface to waggle my hands at you:

you guard the beach, kneeling,
statuesque as if emptied of dream.

You are out of my reach. I move
foolish towards you, still rolling

my body through baby breakers.
When you catch my echo's echo,

you turn your head to me, smile.
And head through the surf's lurch

to meet me, waist-high, your breasts
wet to my touch, your hair still dry

as shadow, hushing me seawards
as slowly as the roll of the waves.

From Love Poems

Taking the Plunge