I remember rocks hitting teeth
and punching a kid in the mouth
the way he bled on his white shirt
that said, “Dino the Last Dinosaur”

there were trips to the beach
we dug down so far the ocean showed
my brother and me in the pit we made
under a violent sky, drawn sloppy
w/ blueberry scented markers

I dare, you to live forever, I’ll do the same

punch buggy yellow, punch buggy green

then we walked through the tunnels

armed with tree branch weapons
in case of werewolves, man
and I held your hand while you made up your mind
through the burnt out shells of pentagram parties
nothing is as depressing as a maze of pine
nothing feels as good as the first time

I don’t remember anything specific
just the smell of fire

and the dreams that woke me up sweating
where you were dead


BUD SMITH works heavy construction in NJ. His books are the novels F-250; Tollbooth; the poetry collection Everything Neon; and the short story collection Or Something Like That. He hosts the Unknown Show, an interview podcast, and is a contributing editor at Entropy Magazine. He also co-edits Uno Kudo, an art meets lit anthology that raises money for PEN International. He was born on Thanksgiving Day, is deaf in his left ear and happily drives a car covered in bird shit. He lives in New York City with his wife, a textile artist who blasts Prince very loudly in the apartment. www.budsmithwrites.com

2 responses to “Where You Were Dead”

  1. D.R. Haney says:

    Welcome to TNB, Bud!

    It’s been, like, forever since I wrote such a comment.

  2. Susan Tepper says:

    Really like this poem a lot, it’s risky and speeds across the page making all the right dramatic pauses.

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