by JP Davies
The sea loathes the iron men,
seeking to rust his replicas
sunken in shore, marking his years.
The steadfast men a breakwater,
each age a serial-number
branded at the nape.
One howls mutely in its iron cradle.
Horizon blinds Eighty, a death-mask rehearsal.
Two tries to run, its head too heavy.
For his Fortieth edition
he cocked a finger and thumb pistol,
melded the iron gun to his temple.
Now Forty lies in the lolling dunes,
gaping at the bird-strewn sky,
crab emerging from its hollow skull.
Beyond his formative years,
the beach stretches statueless;
untainted sand doubts his existence.
Water rises to the hips,
sea blisters wrought skin;
breath trapped in the iron ribs.
Bones dissipate, rust creeps,
until even the tallest he ever was
disappears beneath the iron sea.
Published in 'Crossings Over' (University of Chester)