by A.C. CLARKE
Windfalls (you’d think) from a marine sweet chestnut,
their spines still slowly quiver.
He finds scissors. Digs in
cutting a circle through each unresisting
anus, flips off the round of shell
like the lid of a jar. Snaps the rest
in two as he might a peeled orange.
Five glistening lobes in each half, nestling
in a puddle of dark brine. He drains
and rinses them, scoops out
ten mouthfuls of sex – salt cream
dissolving on his tongue –
licks his fingers slow and thorough,
tasting the creature’s final throb, seasoned
with guilt: the sweeter for that.
‘Dalí Eating Sea Urchins’ by A.C. Clarke won second prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones.