Never a good idea to approach a wedding
with a hangover, before the event.
There’s distant thunder, sky feathered with cloud.
Vesna, at the pool bar, sports two o’clock stubble,
more bristle than shadow, jet black,
but her hair, rubber-banded in bunches,
is the colour of grappa. Where it was still,
parasols ripple, edges of a yellow awning
flutter, flex, undulate, snap like sails.

Our order was cheese toasties, hoping grease would
mop up last night’s excesses, but it comes laced
with unwanted ham donated by knife or board,
neither clean. We slide our plates under loungers,
untouched. Olive, mustard, ivory, sand,
oil paint splatters on concrete slabs –
these are the shades of shit excreted
by the one-footed gull inching closer. No, we’ve got
no food for you. He cocks his head to one side,

pecks at a powdery brown stain on paving,
drips from a choc ice, long since dried, hops to the pool,
drinks deep from chlorined blue, takes off, lopsided.
Days later you tell me how he came back,
the morning after, a balcony crash landing, startled you
as you watched the day stir, gain momentum,
me dead to it all in a crumple of bedding.
Trying it on, again, he was, that aerial chancer,
blown by gusts, storm clouds gathering.