The boy’s trousers have been taken down,
screwed low upon his pumps. A ragged t-shirt
has been tugged up over his nipples, over his head.
His stomach billows at the belly button,
It bloats as wet as a sail filled with waves,
like he has drunk seawater greedily.
Then the arch aches away
into gaunt hipbones, a gaping groin.
He is seven, eight perhaps; his underpants
have deflated footballs on them.
They have been sculpted back onto his dead frame,
mercifully. Though below this nappy,
his pinched knees seem brittle,
too insubstantial, almost, to have been born at all,
The wrinkled fist his hand had formed
is more fin than claw, he is barely there,
translucent, disappearing already,
laid out on the thinnest skin of tide,
quieter than the sand and wet with death,
waiting to be lulled back into the sea