Venus in retreat

Volcanic rock
ground down by the sea
to so much bonemeal
the black sands of Seixal
a gentle sloping beach
on a Saturday worn down
by lackadaisical summertime

We are all here to go
and many have gone
before us
recycled into the cosmos
this place of constant birth
and death and birth again

From the same minerals
this congealed lava
and the supple tissues that beat
in my breast and the blood
that surges through my veins

The rising wind in her hair
the thin line of her lips
curled into a reticent smile
and so her hips sway
as she enters the waves
Venus in retreat

John Lyons


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