Sheaved millions wallow in the vaults, as unreal
as the half-brained dreams of humpback whales,
in bands of silver, dappled white and aquamarine,

as my girls bare-leg it across the bank’s cool tiles
each footfall plashing around their naked shins,
startling the tiller. He closes the file and smiles

at me, man-mother. He did what could be done.
And I must wrestle the girls back in their trousers
and out the door, looked down on by the pigeons,

dappled aquamarine in bands of white and silver,
the same birds as have watched down cliffsides
forever, and seen the beached humpbacks wither,

collapsing like lungs at the highpoint of the tide
where girls knelt close to see their eyeballs steam,
silver and aquamarine in dappled bands of white.

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