Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

The Sword in the Wilderness


The shore edge tempts me
with a place to unfold maps, the states
fastened together like voices in a choir.

When I was searching for borders,
it was a chalk line that led me astray.

A hymn comes from the ocean,
and even the grasses voice their praise.

I will not be fooled by boundaries;
I will watch the sea uncover the sand.

Teach me songs
for which the music has been lost.

Let some of my joy stay with me.

Don’t let me row out alone
to the crag sweatered with birds.


John Sherer is from Birmingham, Alabama. He received his B.A. from the University of Chicago and is currently an M.F.A. candidate at the University of Houston. These are his first published poems.