you read about these things

by john sweet

you read about
these things

the quiet sister
a quiet man

maybe miscarries
maybe ends up dead
on the kitchen floor

you recognize the
names of the towns or
you have a friend
who wears the
same scars

and there is
no such thing as
unique pain

there is no such
word as

anything you think
you're running away
from is already
everyplace you'd
thought of

trinity poem

january in the
room of empty chairs
and the poem is written slowly
on a light blue wall

the sun is forgotten and
none of the hills that
surround me are named

if i were inventing a religion here
i would call gorky the father

would call rothko the son and
cobain the holy ghost
but i am only staring out a
second-story window

i am only pretending to be a poet
in a mortgaged house

i am only listening to
my son sleep

cannot imagine watching
my own childhood replayed by
someone i love
and so i consider escape
without ever really believing in it

i watch the man next door
beat his wife to tears

listen to the bleeding woman's
baby scream until it's
pulled from the trash and
given a name

not everyone would call this
an act of mercy

©2002 by john sweet

john sweet, 33, lives with his wife and son in upstate New York, and has a second child due in December. He spends his home life in a constant state of motion, and goes to work to relax. His most recent chapbooks include approaching lost, (2002, Via Dolorosa Press) and mapping the rooms of murdered children (2002, Black Hoody Nation).

  Home Contributors Past Issues The Ten   Links  Guidelines About Us

Subscribe to the Slow Trains newsletter


Slow Trains in Print Slow Trains, Volume 1 in print