A Poem by Denise Riley

You men who go in living flesh

You men who go in living flesh

Scour clean then drape your souls  

In plumy dress that they may rise

Clear of those thrashing shoals

Of mackerel of the sea who call  

You loiterers on the strand       

To heed your future salted lungs

Pegged out to dry on sand.

I was upright upon the land

Another thing in the sea

Its light has washed my eyelids shut

Green grass floats over me.

Hope is an inconsistent joy

Yet blazes to renew

Its lambent resurrections of

Those gone ahead of you.

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