The sea is a red roll of drums
this autumn morning:
sun like a damson in a thin vanilla sky.
There is a child
foraging through the dunes, and a contralto
breeze whips the waves
into miniature piques, into cartoon teeth.
Horizon like a faint, uneven
smudge of line. The sound is down.
Every grain of sand is a nugget,
a speechless signal. Treasure.
The child has a scrap of map - parchment -
a whey-coloured talisman, covered in emblems,
signs, cedillas, approximate crosses.
When he finds the bottle, he whoops:
he holds it to his mouth, and hollers.
There is a seagull tying knots in the air
above his blazing head,
and, when he pops the cork,
he hears the red, red thunder of the drums.