What the Sea Brings

By KELWYN SOLE

 

Don’t trust any harbour. Already
those reflections that match each boat
turn restless, yearn to fracture:

each wave beyond the quay dishevels.

I who have no instinct for bad weather
—scudding wind, nor gale—turn
to watch a late evening ditching sun

that gasps lunges out to drown

in tides of creels lost, and plastic bottles.
You contrive strong, dark fingers
through your hair. Time to head home:

beside you there’s me and a nervous sea

bereft of the small white globes of gulls

now trying to outrun dark. A door shuts.
We’ll pass our time in tepid rooms
that dissemble light: making dinner

then making love till we lie

in tandem, fork to spoon. Who
cannot guess which one of us
will take their sleepless turn tonight
to part the curtains, start, to see

unblinking stars begin to swarm
suddenly implacable as bees
above the black void that was sea.

 

 

Kelwyn Sole is professor of English literature at the University of Cape Town and guest-editor for Issue 04. 

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What the Sea Brings

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