Tryst Feature Poet John Sweet

the body dissected, the cancer laid bare (later)

each story is true

the woman's body is found
naked and wrapped in a dirty blanket
on some railroad tracks
eighty miles north of here

her left hand writes a
message on a bathroom wall
and she's saved at a truck stop in a
state i've visited

someone is caught
or not

my wife calls from
her sister's home and
mentions me in her list of fears

do you notice that the
story is over?

we've moved on
to less certain things

sit down she says
on a different day in another season

i'm pregnant

and i think of everything i have
and of everything i've lost
until it all gets confused

i think of diane looking for
the king of spain

and i have never claimed to have
profound insight

never claimed
to have divine wisdom or the
soul of a poet

i understand
the alchemy of loss into anger

i understand fear

tried for years to transform it
into something pure

was there when
the dress was found in a dumpster
and later that night i was drunk
on the hood of a car in a
field of tall grass

there is no hidden meaning
in the deaths of strangers

the house burns or the car slides
into oncoming traffic or the
man grows tired of the
sound of begging

pulls the truck into a rest area
and leaves the engine running

thinks the thing through
without emotion
then does it

ŠJohn Sweet 2002

Featured Poetry
building something darker in the ruins of the human cathedral
a cold spring afternoon in the world of darker truths
the poet runs out of words
number 29, 1950, second attempt
the collapse of the human cathedral: a premonition
to starve in a house we call home
a footnote to the season of rust
poem as a noose
stealing the title to atwood's notes towards a poem that
can never be written

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