Thursday, March 3, 2011

Three by John Sweet

ambient prayer with head wreathed in flames

tells her it’s like cutting yrself to
let the poison run out of yr veins

tells her it’s like grey ice
in november sunlight

nothing that actually means anything
and so here we are again among
the weeds and the ruined kingdoms down by
the water’s edge and so here we are
again up on burnt hill road

blue sky and emptiness and
never enough gods to fill it

never enough hands to start a war and
so the soldier shoots the child instead

says orders are orders

smiles in surrenders like a
priest or a coward

smiles like flowers choked by weeds at
the edge of the desert and
it’s here with the furnace broke and
the windows boarded over,
it’s here in the neverending now,
fucking a stranger in
someone else’s room, in
someone else’s city, that one of you
calls the other by the wrong
name and no one cares

it’s later,
with the baby crying, with the
constellations inverted or
obscured, with clouds like
bruised silver, like dreams stained
with hopeless blood, and how
far away were you hoping to be
when all light finally faded?

how long did you think it would take
to reach a point in your life
where nothing mattered anymore?

the numbing weight of failure
always arrives
sooner than you’d expect


without hope, without desire

and then at 30
lost and falling and
then at 40

some pointless story
with an unhappy ending

some fucking poem
scribbled out quickly on the
back of a gas receipt

roomful of children just
waiting to be broken like
so many tiny gifts

nothing revealed, nothing
given away and it
seems like i had a wife
when this thought began

remember white space between us
and windows with shattered glass
and there is nothing so pure it
cannot be poisoned

there is nothing left to do in
the end but accept


with heartfuls of sand and of mud, with the river run dry

sick of myself at 4 in the afternoon

ice on the shadowed sides of
sleeping factories


no news from god since before
i was born
and then the death of his only son
played out for cheap entertainment

this is the world you inherit and
then it becomes
the one you pass on

these are the dreams you dream after
your lover is done with them

daughter was only 3 years old,
was filled with cancer
and the sunlight was a lie

the moment approached and
then it passed
and the fear is what remains

call whatever it is you feel
and then see how far it takes you

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