The girl I took a shine to in The Starlight Inn
washed up at my front door a week after our Norfolk trip,
asked if she could stay the night and in the morning
I found pebbles on all the sills and the lintel:
plum skimmers, checked black and whites,
fat freckled bird’s egg blues,
tortoiseshells, red tongues.
She sang soprano in the shower,
tasted salty beneath the carragheen of dripping hair -
palm-print starfish crowding condensing steam -
stayed a fortnight until I came home to a shipwrecked flat,
laptop and silver cufflinks gone, pebbles scattered,
pink acrylic scales clogging the sink.
I should have guessed from that last kiss
like a retreating tide.