John Sweet

division & subtraction

in the kingdom of dead trees

in the age of falling houses

you wake up to the sound of
gunfire or to the laughter of soldiers
crushing the fragile skulls of
newborn children beneath their bootheels

you wake up to fog

to a hangover

call kirchner
but he doesn’t answer

call dorothy hale
but her machine is broken

her message is clogged with blood

and what about these rumors of
sunlight and warmth that
reach you from the south and the west?

what about your children,
crying for their mother?

will you tell them you love them
even when all they want to do is leave?

John Sweet, b. 1968, still numbered among the living. A believer in writing as catharsis. Opposed to all organized religion and political parties. Avoids zealots and social media whenever possible. His latest collections include approximate wilderness (2016 Flutter Press), Bastard Faith (2017 Scars Publications) and the limited edition Heathen Tongue (2018 Kendra Steiner Editions). All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing. His recent work has appeared in Dodging the Rain, Stickman Review, Tuck, Bindweed and 2River View, among others.