d e n n i s    j a m e s    s w e e n e y






Dear Liz,

I went out in the woods to find myself and you won't stop me no no you

won't. Instead of words flaming out like shot planes I want something to

expect. Instead of black mold I want bright mold and sticks fallen instead

of sticks stacked darling you are a way to me in the way that brushing

teeth is a way. People tell me Sissy you have a good thing going just close

your eyes and let the waves pull you under. Liz I drown in you. No one

knows your eyes but me. I can sell them to museums. Or I can come out

in the woods where I know I am and finally you arenít. Sweet hill of fear.

Here there is nothing to climb. You can see until a tree is in your way and

then you can see that tree. From nowhere a leaf cries out falling.




Dear Liz,

Watch the rains the slick they make over my arms I am like stained glass.

Watch the ground drink the rains. Watch me climb the drops to see over

the bursting trees there are hills even here. The horizon bumps and sinks.

Take a lesson Liz nothing is flat flat is cold cold is desert desert is empty

empty is our kitchen counter after you make Thai food one grand sweep

of the sponge and the world is the way it once was. I trusted you to clear

away the pointless and you cleared away the point. You can't bludgeon

your way to a heart.



DENNIS JAMES SWEENEY's stories and poems have appeared in places like Crazyhorse, DIAGRAM, Indiana Review, and Passages North. He's the Small Press Editor of Entropy and author of the chapbooks THREATS (from alice blue books) and What They Took Away. This year, he lives in Malta.

in issue nineteen

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