A stretch of water on the River Orwell

Rancid oil-slick reeks
of dead fish and
salty algal bloom and the air,
pacing over lapping, wafts
pig shit and
cut grass.

Blurred gelatinous forms,
“a sign of warming or dying waters” come up
like rheumy glasses from a dirty sink and
snagged on rock,
shrivel to nothing more
than a brittle sheen.

And yet:
wide open breezing
green and petroleum blue
glittering surfaces located in the public imagination
at the Tate (Britain)
as something nearing
Constable.

But still, further back:
fear death by… until I learned not to,
hands so cold
they were no use,
and the first time
my heart broke.

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