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 lives in Jersey City and works construction. He is the author of the novel Teenager (Vintage, 2022), among others.

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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