in a room, blindly

 

Not lies, really,

but truths that can’t be proven.

 

The ghosts of Aztecs,

of Incas.

 

Parking lots.

 

Palaces.

 

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,

only abstractions.

 

Only need.

 

Thirty seven years old and

suddenly no longer blind and,

in the mountains,

the killers were making new plans.

 

In town,

the streetlights were coming on.

 

It seemed almost possible

we would find our way home.

 

aesop’s blues

 

in the cold white light of

febuary mornings

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

then gone

 

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.

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