The Cormorant by Rebecca Foust

Rebecca Foust was a finalist in the James Hearst Poetry Prize in 2009. Her poem “The Cormorant” was featured in issue 294.2.

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“The Cormorant”

Satan “flew, and on the Tree of Life . . . sat like a Cormorant;”
—Paradise Lost, Book IV, ll.194-96

The four-chambered heart and wings
somehow transcend his reptilian brain
and come with dusty black feathers

that fray the frock coat of this dour,
penurious parson. An oddly dense
puddle of shadow inking the float,

he does not give deign even one glance
in our direction. We dog-paddle close,
but he waits until we touch wood

to unfold awkward, creaking wing,
splash down on water, upend, dive
and sleek as a snake disappear,

no ripple or wake. We climb up, cold
and late. The sun in decline has turned
the lake red; it’s already starting to burn.


From the author: I wrote this poem…

View original post 1,138 more words

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