You in this sepia-toned photograph,
with your arms wide open in greeting,
with your hands held up in surrender.

Edge of highway, corner of house,
hint of something better. A body of water,
maybe, or the back of someone else’s

A gun pulled from inside the
killer’s heart, and he says Mr. Lennon,
then smiles, then pulls the trigger.


I’ve gotten ahead of myself here.

I’m ten years old and in a boat with
my father and two of his friends, and the
engine has died. The tide is going out,
and the only sound is the pull of the

The only heat is the
mindless glare of the sun.

I don’t know you yet,
haven’t fallen in love with you,
haven’t let my tongue flicker lightly
across your nipples in a
curtained room.

The story is over,
or is possibly just beginning.

I have the picture, but can never
make out the expression on your face.


by John Sweet

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