in a room, blindly
Not lies, really,
but truths that can’t be proven.
The ghosts of Aztecs,
Man rolls the dice to see which of
the children will starve,
and then the bomb goes off.
Seventeen dead, blood everywhere,
the pews of the church on fire.
The runoff from the mill
dumped into the river.
Close your eyes and picture it.
The first time we met and then,
two years later,
the first time we made love.
Oceans on every side of us,
wars to the south,
to the east,
and I told you you were beautiful.
Had no words beyond that,
Thirty seven years old and
suddenly no longer blind and,
in the mountains,
the killers were making new plans.
the streetlights were coming on.
It seemed almost possible
we would find our way home.
in the cold white light of
in the shadows of obsolete monuments
where we no longer touch
this is the world defined by
indifference and rust
this is a handful of salt held out
to christ while he dies on the cross
a gift without meaning
or offered with nothing but malice
a man walking slowly across
the frozen river and
sends his love
which is worth nothing at all
by john sweet
john sweet, b 1968, still numbered among the living. A believer in writing as catharsis. Opposed to all organized religion and political parties. His latest collections include APPROXIMATE WILDERNESS (2016 Flutter Press) and the limited edition chapbooks HEATHEN TONGUE (2018 Kendra Steiner Editions) and A BASTARD CHILD IN THE KINGDOM OF NIL (2018 Analog Submission Press). All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing.