john sweet

landscape, without apology

and this is not my home
but i'm
unable to shake it

dead trees rising up
out of black water and
the sounds of trains always
moving away

a sky so blue and empty
it leaves no place for
any god to hide

and there is a woman
three thousand miles away who
insists i cannot write about
things i don't understand
and there is the man she loves

between us
we make an uncertain triangle

and she is
sometimes distracted by
the sound of the ocean and
i am constantly afraid of
hearing my son cry out
in pain

he's too small to know
anything but
unconditional love and too
beautiful to remain

he is always on
the edge of whatever
landscape i'm describing

i need this to be a
hopeful thing

where the sounds go when they escape our throats

my gift to you
is the rapid fluttering
of wings

you hold it briefly
then let it go

and i was young when
gorky locked the door and
secured the rope

younger still when
lennon's blood
was washed away

and i've become a man
who hates his job

a son without a father

we have maps
you see
but no real idea where
we are

no idea where
the sounds go when they
escape our throats

we are whatever it is
that comes after

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