(Foredown Tower, in Portslade, was originally the water
tower for an isolation hospital)
This tower, once burdened with the weight of water,
is light with air; your quiet breathing,
barely moist. Beneath you, steel rods
straddle, stop the tank from bursting.
Inside, you're sheltered from the elements;
glass screens you from the salt-stung rain.
Listen to the wind's thin wail. Out there
is out there. You're safe, and dry.
Below, the isolation hospital's flint wall
pens in battered autumn gardens,
shores them up, prevents them flooding out,
and spilling into fields.
Look up, out, east. The sky sags
over churned fields. Horses skitter and circle
mud-backed, in the blurred air,
nuzzle each other with their fat, damp lips -
and South, the grey sea heaves, rolls, like a dog
before a fire. The weather closes in.
Rain dissolves the view; land and sea
merge, and fuse. Nothing's certain now.
Imagine, for a moment; the tower floods again.
You're surrounded, punched off your feet,
the water's black rush buoying you up, and up,
as you reach for the surface, grasping at air.