Message in a Bottle from the Sea of Cortez

All the gods in mourning, it reads—
xxxxxxripple and perennial swell.

The page dressed in brush-stroke estuaries,

the precise place where river turns
to sea in grass and salt flat, tides

that push and pull on the continent’s
tucked-in folds, its peninsula, its bay.

There are painters whose pigment
xxxxxxis allowed to weep,

whose page is allowed its geography
as I am allowed this salted tide.

The mapmaker cries out when river-water
and seawater become one water

and the bottle breaks from holding it in.