Dennis James Sweeney

We gave the years unsaddled

to rightlanguage
moon as blue as gold
the chosen pockholed in it
moon like a delicate ring
To skip is to science
Leaders in pink
pyjamas reckon     with their dogs’
ill breath     on the lawn
of a microphone villa
in coin form gleaming
We the People offer a head

I built a subtle

failure in the box-
house of organs;
I slept like an egg
through the
ungulate night;
I clenched like
hard bread, gray
in back of blue
as my face grew
nearer to (gasp)
emotion: Lease
me your rest-
clothes, those
lawless maps
of body swept
from dirt…
Forgive a
self, not this one,
allow a personal
blank faucet
of snow…
Let the glyphs
rage o’er me-
moirs sodden
with flour, the
rest-road for me
does not flake
but hollows
with throat talk;
intentions snap
in time and out
of instant, I told
you, I lied in
your chest;
I soothed like
mercury, I cleft

And whose fine-tuned beginning

lyric with obvious nest
gave system to longing
An ocean to remember in bed
We were the already, “Ach”
with the end of water
we drank salt and coughed sea
on land—     but on land
was no room for next time
Ill color of muscle
buried in shells
while my ancestors
roll calmly, I fold
their paper, I drag
their gallons, they
are already-said

Birds roll in the yard

like morning’s
small statue
An egg donated
and lost is worth
blistering green
Whole breath
through the screen
door: I slicked
my sickness
for the wooden
eminent lope
at the point of a beak
scarred barklike
Sky shrinks into
my body, my body
swells to be mowed

Dennis James Sweeney is the author of In the Antarctic Circle (Autumn House Press, 2021) and You’re the Woods Too, which is forthcoming from Essay Press. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.