The gurnards engage me in quiet conversation.
My surprise that I am breathing under water
gives way to wonder, first, that fish can talk
and, secondly, to their accent: Brummie bubbles.
A phantom Bull Ring! Fancy, at these fathoms.
I’ve been down so long that ‘up’ is an abstraction.
A basking shark, from Bristol by its vowels,
backs off when I recite the Nicene Creed.
I did not know I knew it, and I don’t.
The words flow from a channel that is other
to the one I’ve so far thought of as my mind.
This area of asphalt that the gurnards
patrol, they tell me, is a carriage way
laid down when Britain rose above the waves.
A bit of pre nostalgia for after Greenland’s ice slips into the seas.