I am standing by a dark, black, stone sea,

where nothing lives

no reflection sees.

They tell me they used to swim in it

but now there are merely

tourists behind a rope,

dipping distant fingers

into the icy

ink.

I turn to walk the path into the red-brick, splendid town,

Where the proud, clock tower

reaches haughtily high

for a non-descript sky.

A white bus corners

too fast,

(was it driverless?),

and pivotting,

I know

without sight,

that its blind velocity

will cause it to roundabout

crazily into the tower’s feet.

I feel the toppling

sense it

and start to run.

Some stand and stare

cameras

capturing

their own destruction

for instagram.

But I run.

I feel the bricks topple.

hear the rumble.

I don’t look back.

The brickdust clowd surges

tsunami

sweeping

those who hesitate

those who crowd

and distract themselves in gift shops

away.

I run,

sensing others with me,

but I do not turn to look

at what or who is falling.

I look straight ahead,

feel my muscles pull me forward

away.

We meet by the sea,

we escapees.

dishevelled

silent,

fewer.

There is not other way than to swim.

We

I plunge in

to a living sea.

I am not scared

though there are shadowy shapes swimming beneath me.

I do not stop

my strong strokes,

just onward.

Onward,

reaching arms

kicking legs

breathing

until,

from a distant shore,

people swim out

to greet us,

swim with us,

as we land.

I land

and turn to see wild haired

women

licking salt from their strong brown skin

Kind men

offer

a safe

undemanding embrace.

I try to dry myself,

to find my feet in this new place

which is familiar

yet strange

hotter.

The suriving swimmers

move,

some towards

a tidy line

awaiting work.

I see rails of my clothes

suspended on wire wracks

in the empty parking lot

patiently

lined up for office hours

and desk.

I do not try them on,

Instead

I lick salt from my tough,

strong skin,

and join the wild haired women

and kind men

as we move

silently

on.