Tsunami Girl

by Harriet Torr

Her belongings, like skins,float back to the original effluvia of

ocean beds.An archive of buttons, newly dyed with fish

spawn,congealedwith masonry skill,disturbs the isotopes of an

ocean’s plan.A crustacean, plotting the symmetries of a

worldbetween its kelp stones,stares at the hems and petticoats

trailing him.


The pink ghosts of muscles still fasten

round the dress and an occasional sea bird

dips its beak into its folds, deciphering its smells,

the idiosyncrasy of its shapes, the neck stem displaced,

the dislocated spine of its buckle digging the waist

where a strong hold of sea lice thrill to its curves.


TV men with diving suits and tanks

return for a second take;

the satin dress holding itself up to the poles of the waves

like origami dancing, twitching lace mimicking breath,

sand filled pouch, its warmth.

It dances past the slow differential of a fin

its acrimony of scales, its Mache print of skin


to the laughing girl shedding herself

like Narcissi in the tsunami wave.