As if the ground were flying, the wind
rushes them from under us into
a cloud of cries, the sky a cathedral
of comings and goings, the sea
littered with epiphanies of spray. Light
strikes their scripture illuminated
with blue netting, straw and guano:
each in its tongue speaks opacity
and joy, turning beyond us in empty
polyphony: kittiwakes scold,
gulls juggle, gannets so nearly laugh the old
joke cracks us up into a slip of light –
a small boat by the stone cliff
caught in the interlace of echo and absence.

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