Read Poem: NIBBLES, by Sebastian Hales

Come down to the bridge at midnight, when the tide is full and the lights of Waikawa shatter the water into crystal shards and the only sounds are the swishing and slapping of ripples against the wooden piles of the bridge and the deep black murmuring of the distant sea hidden behind the sleeping covens of sand dunes.

Stand naked on the pebbled bank, sensing but not seeing the whiteness of your body exposed to a thousand pointing fingers, the ghosts of the trees and the sharp menace of the gentle breeze.

Slip tentatively down the slope into the caressing night clothes of the water’s comfort.

The lights of the shore are a painted backdrop left behind from another play.

Below the rippled blanket all is dark.
Only your head lifting from its twinkling pillow.
Only your wet hair like seaweed on your face.
Only your feet, braced against the water’s sway.

Then you feel,
nibbling your shoulders and back,
nibbling neck and arms,
nibbling breast and buttock,
nibbling away the bridge,
the lights,
the coldness of the air,
the worries of the day,
the now and then,
the struggles and despair,
the nibbling,
nibbling massage
of shoals of tiny
fishes.