by Sue Proffitt

We walk there in before-dark light,

black rock breaking the sea’s drive,

not a soul on the gleaming wet
shift and slide of shingle.

Beyond the Horse’s Head
sky blots gold,

we scoop out sand,
search for stones.

You light the fire and I watch you.
Sky deepens, rocks soften,

and I remember
we slept here years ago,

I remember you making a line
in the sand that you stepped over.

There’s no moon, only the dark
snaring the earth’s waters,

a gold orchestra heating our faces,
breaking a nail in a splutter of sparks.

When night and day
hang equal in our hands

I feel my way to the sea
cold around my feet;

look back at your face
rimmed on the fire’s edge.

Wood turns molten,
fingers of flame

retreat into red caves.
Time to scatter the embers –

a billion pulsing points of fire
spark and die beneath our feet.

We leave the universe
burning in the sand.

From Open After Dark, Oversteps, 2017