Written by Rahima Fitzwilliam Hall on Sunday the 4th of April 2010
He fell asleep on the shore where there were no rock pools but where rock
pools were craved. The new tide lingered moonward and his feet stared
bare at the ocean.
They waited until he was still and then,
gently, they gushed the tide at him. Pumping brine inquisitively around
him, measuring the arch of his back, the space under his neck, the
salinity of his sweat, the weight of his head against the sand.
At first, they took him softly, small green fish found a home of his
ankles, seaweed slipped between his toes and his skin slowly slimed. If
they sensed him waking the sea would shoosh him back to sleep.
It wasn't until the tide slacked seaward that they claimed him with full
force. Barnacles to his cranium, kelp to the scalp. Muscles, cockles
and whelks welded together his toes, ears, eyes. Limpets locked
themselves to his knees and sea enenemies shamelessly prodded at what
was left of his softness. He lost all sense of human as the tide pulled
away his last salty tear and left him there with a hermit crab in his
ear and an eel where he sensed he once had a bellybutton.