we are masterful in our disguises, you and i, you with your camera slung over your shoulder, me, emerging every so often from beneath my dog-ears to pose as your subject. it’s a fine masquerade, and, so far, nobody has suspected our truth:
that we are, in fact, treasure hunters.
so it is safe then, to document here a detailed inventory of the things we are discovering buried in the miniature glossy mountains of your lenses, and in the folded over corners of my notebook:
from the bones of a wild blackberry bush we extract four rusty vertices, which we piece together with a fifth (which we fortuitously pull up tangled in the barnacled carcass of a lobster pot) to form a perfect, symmetrical barn star.
we sift through slate and shingles and sawn off shutters to uncover the faint tracks of a once-startled deer, and find, quite by accident, the sea-smoothed scapula of a male harbour seal.
with the feather of a bald eagle, we dust the brittle, emptied shell of a one hundred year old crustacean.
from the thick alluvium where an ancient river meets an ancient ocean, a spike protrudes- a weather-vain! we carefully cleave it out, and with it comes a small spire- no, wait, a cupola (it’s paneling is leprous, but otherwise it is in pristine condition!) what treasure, what treasure!
but it is under a crippled hollow birch that we find our holy grail: a cache of the finest and most delicate leaf skeletons - one thousand or maybe more - seared and shriveled by a season, shaken, then stilled, fossilized by the sheer intensity of this autumnal atlantic cold.