Seven tankas for Brighton

You start where the smooth,
surface of the groyne runs out.
and ends where the sea
has gnarled it back, exposing a
bark-like rough of an old tree.

Exposed and rusty,
nails protrude to cut feet young,
and old, but you dive,
seaweed and the lapping of
the urgent sea to test your hold,

and then, the cool brace
and salty taste, then the sea,
and tranquil moments,
beyond the angry hillocks
of water that rush with haste

skin stone cold, but warm,
within, but the suns rays like,
a long flame licking,
limbs turn as hard as new soap
gulls circle above like blown paper

One last wave, slaps you
hard on the back, like a friend,
too deep in his drink
you leave with the ungainliness
of the first amphibian

And do your eyes sting,
when you leave the water,
and does the tide so
make you walk like a drunkard,
then you are back on the beach

To rest where the smooth,
surface of the groyne runs out.
And meets where the sea
has gnarled it back, forming a
bark-like rough of an old tree.

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