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alien craft

I can't stop thinking about landing on beaches. Washed up or straight from the sky. The image won't be flattened out.

 dead ray on a beach

Like this alien craft, prodded and pierced by curious walkers, pissed on by dogs. I wanted to know what had driven it here.

Its skin was leathery, riding up over the innards. It was the sort of body you wished you'd stumbled across first, before anyone else had a chance to spoil it.

We tried lifting the carcass with a stick. We expected it to be heavy, but it was even heavier.

It still held a sliver of animal grace, something from another world, where grace doesn't exist.

 dead ray on a beach, RIP

I wondered whether it would again be washed out to sea, or was it fixed to rot here, embedded an inch or so in the grey sand. There seemed little point thinking about its freedom, now or before its death.

The gulls were reluctant to touch it. We struggled to look away.

Paraparaumu 160223