July 2005 / Volume Six / Issue Four
John Sweet
the burning flag

tired of the sound of my voice
in these mostly empty rooms and
tired of the silence that follows

tired of this woman who
calls me a monster

who stands in the cold april rain
outside my house
with the bones of her dead children
piled at her feet

blames me for
what's gone wrong in her life
and i'm sorry for the pain of others
but i feel no guilt

i believe in jesus christ
but not his miracles

listen

we kill what we fear

we force our convictions down
the throats of those we hate

do you believe in democracy?

did you spend the
second world war in a cage in
california because of the
color of your skin?

all your leaders have ever
wanted to protect themselves from
is you

all the priests have ever wanted
are your children

and were you taught that
murder is wrong?

do you understand why
andrea yates is still alive?

and when i finally open my door
the woman is gone
but there is a
young boy lying in the street

there is the car that hit him
and the man who drove it

the sound of
an ambulance approaching

this thought that
none of us are ever really saved
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