Infauna by Simon van Schalkwyk

– from Transcontinental Delay

Cloudless before sunset, a day without fog,
clear as white handkerchiefs waving away
ships and present commitments.
An apostrophe also for the duneless future.

Who wades, shin-deep, between sculpins,
silver and quick, in the pellucid shallows
of the Kromme? What are these murmuring flues,
submerged corridors, enclosed labyrinths,

suggesting a deeper habitat? Inter-tidal plateau,
crystalline floodplain, freshwater, salt,
stray aquarelle of urchin, isolated hydra, detached
polyp, sessile and repeating: the ghost crab’s lair.


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