the head and neck
of a bird that never existed

in this landscape
of meeting places

river/sea, fresh/salt
pebbled shores rising

to the heaving
shoulders of mountains

or a bird that has always existed
beneath the bark

of a green branch
scoured by Atlantic waves

to a fossil of itself
to less than a memory

of sap rising, here
in the palm of my hand

both real and imagined
like an open gate to the sea

what lies beyond
what I want to believe is there