Two Poems by John Swain

With His Weapon

Each with his weapon,
the waters beyond
the outside gate,
I remain unfortunate
to have ever believed
in you and God
and God in you or me.
I must rid myself
of the impulse
toward love’s ambition numbed
in its sabotage.
Sun left the edges of your body
tied close to the sea
on a bed of sand
like the embers of trees
rest in the cooling.


River field
of fireflies
with yellow
green stars.
I looked at you
like a deer
and raised
your legs
around my waist
in flight
and stillness.
the sky became
a tree shadow
I feared
like a person
until you formed
a shared torch.

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