by Nikki Robson
She’s a swig of tranquil ocean,
cupped between her capture and the rescue she implores.
In her temporary state of tamed and stormless,
bids you kneel with needle whelk and hare
and laps your ear as if it were a shell,
murmurs calmly, then wheedles with magnetic pull.
The tide comes in and numbs your legs
so you can’t feel the graze and gash
of basalt scraping skin.
When you realise her whispers gale
to wild Atlantic roar you’re in too far.
The current’s strong, you can’t break back
all cries are froth –
there is no salvage now.