John Sweet, Parades


and she will kiss my forehead,
will take off her shirt, and
there is no great trick to being unfaithful

there is nothing more
horrifying than the future

your death out there waiting for you
and then your life, forgotten

your pain made irrelevant

or maybe it

something, maybe

says she has a gun but she’s
gotta get clean before she starts
shooting the fuckers,
says freedom is nothing more
than seeing
all of your enemies dead,
and we’re stoned and we’re
naked on the bathroom floor and
the kids are with her ex

the liquor stores
are all closed

feels like enough just
taking these small bites out
of each other until morning

the other cassandra

your life in this place
defined by hills and the shadows of hills

your dreams of escape shot
through with razor thin thoughts
of suicide, and what if
every day of your life is the last day of february?

what if your only choices are
sunlit brown or overcast grey?

the forgotten houses of forgotten lovers

the bridge that crosses the
river and leads to the freeway

from far enough away it all
begins to make sense

the liars fuck the believers and
the song on the radio is always one that reminds
you of being in love and there are people
just like us everywhere offering
false apologies without regret

there are children sleeping in frozen fields
and in the back seats of abandoned cars

what can you give them that could ever
mean less than god’s undying love?


had hope like all good dogs and
everything tasted like lust or the
salt from your skin and all i knew for those
2 sunfucked years was that we
would never grow old

all i knew was that we would never die

all i dreamt was the
goddess warmth of your kiss

John Sweet, a Dodging The Rain regular, sends greetings from the rural wastelands of upstate NY. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the strength of the small press to defeat the bullshit scourge of censorship. His latest poetry collections include NO ONE STARVES IN A NATION OF CORPSES (Analog Submission Press, 2020) and A DEAD MAN, EITHER WAY (Kung Fu Treachery Press, 2020).

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