Sails gavotte the sea's chipped glaze;
snorkellers paddle out, glimpsing swimmers' legs,
sea urchins, jellyfish veils,
claws that scuttle up a sediment
the sea lets slowly fall.
I'm caressing sun-cream onto your
shoulders' freckled skin,
watching two women wince over shingle
to the water's hem; the eldest mottled
the plum colour of falling fruit,
her daughter ripening an identical smile
at the sea's petulance.
Delighted by the tang of waves the old woman sinks
forward, tattooed by her own veins, sculling
in slow strokes to an horizon of tinder hills
smouldering in surf.
Last night we lay in the din
of unsleeping Spaniards dining late;
this morning I kissed your belly, water-
marked where our children swam out to nets
we couldn't guess away.
Those youngsters jack-knife from rock,
their bodies oiled, water-borne, careless,
the French girls glazed as new bread,
the Spanish boys watching them
with eyes of startled blue.
Flippers semaphore another sub-aqueous
surprise - something else ecstatically
alive beyond your skin's heat,
those women spitting water,
the sails' paso doble
over waves' applause.