Young love, we call this,
twenty-five, wading in a rough sea;
we take the salt waves full in the mouth.
Side-by-side in the green Moroccan-tile shower
we strip off our shorts and shirts
and wash the sand from our skin.
This is how an oyster makes a pearl.
This is how a starfish grows a new limb,
moon-bright in the tide-pool constellations.
These are the jellyfish stranded on the sand after high-tide,
purple as a bruise, sharp-tongued in their small deaths.
We return to the shore again and again,
driven by the humid air inland.
Sunburned, scoured by the sand,
my hair coarse and bleached,
here we are again, waist-deep,
chest-deep, lifted and pummelled
as by a bare-knuckle boxer. Young love,
we call this, and we fight like anything to
stay afloat. At night the moon
lopes across the water and I wear your jacket;
I’ve pocket full of cobalt seaglass,
and a book of matches, and furious heart.
We call this a summer, hot as asphalt,
green as dune-grass. We call this a summer,
wild as the grey Atlantic waves, or as a fistfight,