A boy plays a cassette recorder’s
graveled voices & to whom do they
belong as the historic restored pier
eases into flame for the fourth time
in four decades. A measure of time
the end-of-the-line inn collapsing
through its wooden floor & into
the north sea. The oak bar adrift,
the kegs burning timber & ethanol,
the fairground dulling with soot.

If the owners of the voices unreeling
are the seasonal visitors whose coins
the boy finds in winter, their metal
& figurehead his want for summer;
if the fire subsides; if the arcade’s
neon & electric were to wash over
anything but the empty seafront
of a town on route from destination
to ghost. Light hesitates in the heat.
Horizon is a story told to strangers.