the heart, scraped bare by John Sweet


fucking in the bone-dry heat of
junkie paranoia, not love, not desire, not
anything you would recognize as human, but
            this is the age

this is the moment

greasy handprints on dirt-streaked windows and
the grey light that will
come to define the rest of your life

your father’s suicide, and she rolls away,
says she has to call her old man

says no one’s going to miss just one
tiny piece of christ, and you ask what the hell are
                                 you talking about?

you ask why the hell are you bleeding?
and the walls just keep moving in closer

january, maybe, or maybe july

sweating and shivering, just to make
sure all the possibilities are covered

room painted grey and smeared with dread,
with despair, and this same old song of
ignorance and fear on every station
up and down the dial

never gonna be anything less than
number one with a bullet in a
nation of cowards with bibles & guns,
and are you for or against?

are you gonna spit or swallow?

every answer can only be
right or wrong

every act of violence can only be
returned tenfold

and it doesn’t really matter all that much
how you die if you
never really bothered trying to be alive

©2020 John Sweet




John Sweet sends greetings from the rural wastelands of upstate NY. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the continuous search for an unattainable and constantly evolving absolute truth. His latest poetry collections include HEATHEN TONGUE (2018 Kendra Steiner Editions) and A FLAG ON FIRE IS A SONG OF HOPE (2019 Scars Publications).


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