A morning gone resplendent in autumn lavish,
when a strange still-scape appears in the parted
grass: the long, oil-slick of snake, carnation-
pink mouth agape, clasping the bloated,
brown body of a toad who’s made no effort
to escape having lost or given up on itself,
the only motion an amber, amphibian eye
wanting to look past this grim anguish and
close in silence as if it could dream away this
hideous communion in which the predator’s
unable to swallow the prey and the hapless prey’s
unable to flee, and, seeing how neither asked
for mercy nor forgiveness, the morning, now in
ascendant blue, wore on, and the world offered none.
Twice nominated for the 2021 Pushcart Prize and, more recently, for Best of the Net in 2022, John Muro is a resident of Connecticut and a lover of all things chocolate. In the Lilac Hour, his first volume of poems, was published in 2020 by Antrim House,. Since that time, John’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Acumen, Barnstorm, Grey Sparrow, River Heron, Sky Island and Willawaw. Pastoral Suite, his second volume of poems, was published by Antrim House in June of 2022. Instagram: @johntmuro.