Where breakwaters shove the stones
And suck the channel water,
Clouds unfist the sun, black coating the shore.
The chalk-colored cliffs statuesque
Over a lighthouse curtaining the stubborn dark,
And I in a swim past the huts of fish.
In a blue unchanging world, I stroke through
The narrow crack, through the odors of an
Old sea; in a backward look, the shore is drinking the waves.
The map of my swim lies beneath, along the
Silver streak of pilchards, they cast their
Scales ousted from fishing nets; cleave forward in a fury.
Waves wallop me in a freestyle, assaulting my body,
Riveting cold, yet I take the challenge;
Sprawling, hunched in a wincing mask of agony.
Far from the Dover beach, I see a French window ajar,
Boats retching in a basin; I marvel at the onslaught.
In a harbor, I’m greeted by ring-billed gulls and casual valor.
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