We arrived at the dusk, under clouds of lightning.

We found the backbone of an ancient being—it stretched two miles into the ancient surf. We walked between its wooden pylons—now, just short stubs of wood encrusted with salt. It doesn’t take a lot to fill up this basin, or empty it either.

We found a stand of Ancients. Six figures facing the mountain and bowing. If the more you look, the more you see, if you look eternally you will see infinitely. I stood between them and faced the mountain and bowed. Then I moved on.

We found the spinal column of the backbone. An ancient wooden pipe threaded around by rusted wire. We stepped over it carefully.

We passed over mud flats, grass, and bones of seabirds.

We reached the water.

The ground and sky were charcoal. I removed my shoes and waded, up the spinal cord, feeling the salty blood of earth lap my ankles. I walked until I dared go no further—until the metal wires threatened the very life of me. I stood, near the end of the boardwalk, the backbone of an ancient beast—I stood, and watched the pylons in the water—I stood, and froze, one hand on my hat and one out to my side—I stood, and was hypnotized by the black and white of the moving, living, breathing water—I stood, where seconds were minutes and minutes were hours and hours were years—I stood, and saw the terminus, and could not reach it—like Moses and the promised land.

I leaned and put my hands in the water as a sign of devotion.

I returned, with my shoes in one hand and the spine of a seabird in the other, my bones made of salt, my head full of sky. I did not walk along the spinal cord. I left a bit of myself at the end of the dock, imagining sea monsters opening up their gullets at the end of the spinal column, hypnotized by the infinite water.

Now I am alone.