this is the poem
by john sweet

    almost noon and
    we are still casting
    only the palest of

    this is the poem i start
    on the day a boy of sixteen
    beats his fifteen year-old
    girlfriend to death with
    a length of wood

    the baby plays on
    the floor at my feet and
    the cats sleep and
    there are no signs that christ
    is planning to return

    the cars are all
    lined up in the cupboards
    the poisons all locked
    safely away in the

    my wife weeds her garden
    and i
    think ahead to supper

    there's meat
    in the refrigerator
    and beer
    and later we'll walk to the
    store for ice cream

    and it's just past noon
    beneath a shimmering white sky
    in a town i swore i was
    leaving five years ago

    it's twenty minutes later
    that this girl follows
    her boyfriend into
    the trees

    no one is allowed to
    claim innocence here

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