“A Landmass of Birds” by Kyle Adamson

The North Pacific Gyre (Landmass)
“The North Pacific Gyre” by Elizabet Leader, Pastel on Fabriano paper

We live in a landmass of birds.
This is a poem about grief.
How the brackish water bleeds
into the poisoned orange glow.

How only in a glimpse
when the car whooshes
over a concrete bridge,
I see the island patrolled
by predatory beaks.
So inhospitable
& burning like whiskey
on an arid palette.
This moment lives
in the sour sand
between my tongue & cheek
& deep in my veins
with tidal malice.

It’s shore out of reach;
puddles are crusted, dry,
thirsty with rife.
How the rocks huddled together
like shattered television sets
with frail driftwood antennas.

So many that lay strewn
with vacant eye sockets.

I will only speak of winged cannibals.
How deafening the shrill,
how baron the skeleton trees.

The soil, putrid & foul
with shattered eggshells
like salt on a charred rib,
I wish this were a poem about apologies.
This is where we hail, we are.



Kyle Adamson is an MFA student at Bennington College and earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University. He is the winner of the 2010 AWP Intro to Journals Award in poetry and has been published in the Artful Dodge and Revolver and forthcoming in the Alaska Quarterly Review, the Water-Stone Review, and the Midway Journal. Kyle served in the Marine Corps infantry and deployed twice to Iraq. Kyle resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota.


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