The black sugar boat
across the bay
beneath the chains of Chelsea –
we saw it from the other side of town
moored up by the refinery. We were sitting
on the hard steps of a jetty in Herne Bay. The waves
kept coming in – a yellow crust
of cool volcanic moon
flew up above the
We were close
to breaking up. We could only see ourselves
through images. The jetty was adrift.
in jagged light. A dark wind was blowing in on us.
I saw you as I never had before . . . as you
swam slowly towards your freedom
as the phosphorescent sea
became the tail of a mermaid
between your feet
as I kept turning
& as a black sugar boat
across the bay was burning.
© Bob Orr