Metastasis ||| The Missouri Review

When the glaciers armied through Florida, like anywhere else, they left a
mess of rocks and sand and animal bones behind them. They did this
peacefully over a long period of time, and the animals felt peaceful as they
died in the crush of ancient cold, and present-day sea creatures poking
through deserted coral remember nothing of those faraway deaths. Yet
when the moon presses down on the Atlantic like the whole hard body of
God, even the smallest worm on the reef will admit to hearing a moan in
the ocean’s bed. And if you’re standing on shore past your bedtime,
Northern creature warmer than you’ve ever been in winter, and the
moonlight pins you like a moth to the side of the old sea-eaten hand-built
bench, you can hear it too — you don’t want to, you shake your head
against it, but it’s real and mixed up with every other sound that’s ever
occurred up and down this killer beach.


Maureen Seaton has authored numerous poetry collections, both solo and collaborative—most recently, Tit, with Blue Guitar, a chapbook from Dancing Girl Press (2016), and Caprice: Collected, Uncollected, and New Collaborations, with Denise Duhamel (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). Her awards include the Iowa Poetry Prize, Audre Lorde Award, Lambda Literary Award, an NEA fellowship, and the Pushcart. The teaches Creative Writing at the University of Miami.

Metastasis” was originally published in The Missouri Review and subsequently in Fibonacci Batman: New and Selected Poems at Carnegie Mellon, published by University Press in 2013.