White Cliffs by Susie Campbell

No more than this left from once warm bodies. Sloughed off under pressure, trashed; left to fossilise, silicify. Soft bloom of phytoplankton pinched out, light-fed single cells compressed to a thick white wedge. Now arising clean and bitter from clay’s mucky slump, these cliffs a bone shield against Caesar’s legion. Grudges held hard against all marauders: Spain’s nutshell fleet, a sour return on wars and bad investment in dominion. Sun sets as the old bulldog quivers. Abdel’s a giant, tall as Salisbury steeple and he breakfasts on little English people. Outlined in chalk, blanket pulled up to chin. One last rictus of stolen teeth.