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Poetry By
  Michael McSweeney

Published on: 9/9/2010
Photo of Smiling Joe

Lost in the camera flash,
light like the hand of love
on his face,
struck by the moment.

Oh Smiling Joe with the vodka eyes,

you will never know
what lies behind you:
a boy's hands gripping knees,
gaze like angry prayer;
a girl's fingers rubbing a bottle,
only a bottle the night their car
was filled with silence.

Published on: 9/9/2010

A long dripping water-sound
out of lips like a gnashed tomato

moisture is difficult, maddening: it sticks
to us young men chasing down storm drains,
others, more bruised, deep inside their typewriters,
soak and pray to wake dazed in grassy sheets
bathed in filtered pink skylight,
(an alarm clock lost in time, blinking, drunk)
wondering why, did or what will do,
in those quiet hours, watching

pearls of sweat flash dry
in the small of her back.

Published on: 3/15/2010
Sri Lanka Morning

(inspired by an al Jazeera article)

Sun falls deadstill on a red back;
a ruby hound like a mound of dirt
while its owner stretches fingers
like webs in wind, or nets in shallow water.
Her back is humped because it was

forced by gravity, the posture of mourning
watching the ground and what it has taken
unto itself; we are made from dirt
which is made from stars, particles
clumped into organs that live to sob
only, and breathe, and love.
There are tire tracks, deep,
behind her

pressed into the armored soil, dust
storms and all passing over their ridges
as everything decays, their depths,
their rises and their emptiness

wishbones of a bent creature,
the sound and sand about them, roaring

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