licked by a dog’s tongue, oversized
the elbian shoreline is clear like spring
the flotsam is hidden in the boscage
four meters higher than the crashing
of the low slow and ever mumbling waves.
there are some plastic tatters flickering
in climbs of bushes, lemon green,
that turn plain-coloured, sight unseen.
if some waves later, some billows further to the west
a frogman emerged from the water
his black suit shining like a lump of tar
who started diving at the lowest tide
the outlines opaque, ill-defined
in the nautical dawn of hamburg, meine perle.
— if he got out and built a canopy swing
big enough for two
made of samphire, driftwood, fairyland bamboo
given a shove by the stiff breeze
the absent look fixed to the cranes
in blue-grey, celeste, tangerine
would this man stay?
let barges pass and low scows pass
till he becomes flotsam himself
a ready made
pallid and cavernous
caught in an everlasting dialogue
with shipyards, floaters, skips and seagulls
on their brisk way to wilhelmsburg.