TAR
IN WHICH JOAN OF ARC, AT THE MOMENT OF
HER MARTYRDOM, SEES THE FUTURE LAID BARE


The first one into the house
finds the oldest child
floating facedown in the tub

I use this fact in
my definition
of America

I picture
the queen of open wounds naked
on her hands and knees
while her boyfriend tells her
she's a worthless cow

I picture her pinned
to the floor
by a man her father knows

and there is
sunlight without warning
towards the end of winter and
there are the shadows of powerlines
like scars down these
hopeless streets

there are the marks that
physical objects
make upon the earth

dead water pooled
where the parking lots have
begun to sink and
what is it that leads a man to
poison his own child's
blood?

who is it
that breaks the news?

I will only
ask these questions after
my mirrors have all been
turned to the wall


John Sweet
JOHN SWEET has been writing for twenty years now, publishing in the small press for fourteen, all of them spent in raging anonimity.  He lives in the wastelands of upstate New York with his wife and son, works for the state in a dead-end job, and attempts to keep the house from crashing down around him.  Recent work has appeared in Red River Review, Pig Iron Malt and Skidrow Penthouse.