In the Nude

Lucy Thynne

While on holiday on a Greek island
we stayed in a small village,

and at the bottom of the road
was a nudist resort. This was amusing

to us but I think for most people
it would have been embarrassing.

Driving down past it on our way
to the sea, some of us shut our eyes

tightly, while others stretched
their eyes in an attempt to catch

a glimpse through the tightly-wound
fence, heads hanging out

of the window. What we were looking
for I’m still unsure. Some confirmation

of our own tenderness, some glance
at sun-softened skin. This usually

failed, until our last day when
an Adam appeared on the balcony,

calmly setting out his towel to dry.
Sophie screamed, I burst into laughter.

I think we nearly even stopped
the car. Unaware of our dinner-party

anecdote hatching, we observed
in the passing seconds the whitened flesh,

exposed, turning towards the sun
as it wobbled like a pale dessert

we would never order.