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John Muro

Arrived here without compass,
having tumbled, pilotless, along
the seabed beneath the rusted
freighter’s long sweep of nets
and the knocking of the tides
and suddenly finds itself, with
morning nearly gone, a puzzle
to solve by a grey gull webbing
its way from water. I run my
fingers across its abandoned
body – thinking it could be a
narwhal’s tiny tusk, some
ornate chalice or small-sword
from the rococo – and note its
assemblage of whorled striations,
spears and spire, crafted in
elegant torque and defying
practical geometry with its
fillet design and wide, glossy
wing – doused in a shade of
pink more exquisite than any
summer sunrise we might
care to imagine – curling into
a fluted grotto where neither
light nor color linger and
where the maker often
withdrew to weather this
blundering world though
there’s more than an ending
here, as I pause to listen to
the sea’s haunting breath
and its song of an aging
grief, heart-forgotten, that’s
emptied out of it and
still wanting to be heard.

John Muro has published two volumes of poems – In the Lilac Hour and Pastoral Suite – in 2020 and 2022, respectively. He is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, a Best of the Net Award and, in 2023, he was a Grantchester Award recipient. John’s poems have appeared in Acumen, Barnstorm, Delmarva, Sky Island, Valparaiso Review and elsewhere.

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