SENTINEL POETRY #26 Online Magazine Monthly, January 2005

JOHN SWEET

 

season of glass

 

this idea of mortality

 

the different ways you hurt people

and the ease with which

you can be reduced

to being human

 

someone's teenage daughter

caught by a surveillance camera

 

filmed talking to a stranger

and then his hand tight around her arm

and then she's gone

 

two days missing and then three

and then the snow gives way

to a brilliant blue sky

 

dirt streaks the windows

 

the shadows of objects

spilling blue

across silent back yards

 

beauty

but always with the threat

of something darker underneath

 

pools of water

but always stained by oil

 

the sound of the highway from

across the river

or a passing train on the

other side of town

 

violence at a safe distance

 

this homeless man drunk

and passed out on the tracks

 

his name

which i never know

 

each life defined

by how easily it ends

 

 

The geography of nowhere:  a continuation

 

the walls cold to the touch

and rain against the windows

in the soft buzz of 2 a.m.

 

the shadows of ghosts

 

the steady weight

of unpaid bills

 

of middle-aged men on top of

young girls in rooms filled

with harsh white light

 

mothers asleep and

fathers dead and

cars on the interstate

 

the thought of escape

the taste it leaves

 

a different form of

starvation

 

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