Times Zero by John Sweet

you with the light of god in
your eyes on easter sunday, air filled
with the glimmer of memory, with
shards of chrome, said kiss me said beg and
we were all growing thinner on a
diet of broken glass

we were all dreamers and
we are all the dream

asked the poet what he believed in but
the letter came back unopened

heard about his death a year later, right about
the time of my divorce, right about the time of the
fire, and i went back to read all the
words he’d ever written

i burned the effigies and i played the
records backwards but
no greater truths were revealed

the sunlight was bitter, the
landscape grey and frayed at the edges

dead trees and empty houses and the children
found buried behind abandoned factories
or out along the edges of the interstate

baby teeth lined up on the
kitchen window sill

back yard thick with morbid nostalgia

understood finally that it was the fear
of becoming my father
that kept me from crawling to your door

john sweet, b 1968, still numbered among the living. A believer in writing as catharsis. an optimistic pessimist. Opposed to all organized religion and political parties. Avoids zealots and social media whenever possible. His latest collections include A NATION OF ASSHOLES W/ GUNS (2015 Scars Publications) and APPROXIMATE WILDERNESS (2016 Flutter Press). All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing.

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