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I am sitting still but I am moving


Marian Christie

Ripples over sand tell me I am sliding
towards where beach becomes ocean. Yet my body
says that I am still. My skin
accumulates the sun.. Tiny lesions erupt on the sand
which is at once hard and yielding, continuous and granular.
A sideways scuttle of crabs, petals etched on a circular shell, patterns
within patterns. Water sloshes into the wreck, retreats,
returns, an arterial pulse within the rusted ribcage. The wreck’s interior
is cool and dark, rank with seaweed, too dangerous
my mother says, but we cannot resist its unspoken story.

Above Makuti beach a lighthouse hunkers, banded in red and white. My brother
shimmies up a palm tree, hacks down a bunch of coconuts
which thud into the sand like unexploded bombs. Daylight yields
to a sunset of angry reds and purples. The air changes. Wind blows from the sea,
rattles the palm fronds. My parents buy a pail of prawns from the fishing boats
that come in with the evening tide. The prawns’ eyes are dead as beads,
their legs bent in fragile helplessness. We boil them over a campfire,
crack open each layered carapace to reveal the salty pinkness of their flesh.
Demijohns in wicker baskets, wine-soured air, wavering zoom of mosquitoes. Moonlight
trembles on the retreating sea. From the lighthouse tower, a red pulse


Marian Christie is originally from Zimbabwe. Her recent publications include a chapbook, 'Fractal Poems' (Penteract Press) and a collection of essays 'From Fibs to Fractals: exploring mathematical forms in poetry' (Beir Bua Press). She blogs at and is on Twitter @marian_v_o.

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