Where You Were Dead


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
me and my bother in the pit we made
looking up at a sky so violently blue
as if drawn sloppy w/ blueberry scented markers
vinyl banners pulled by wobbling bi-planes
advertisements for eternal life soaring over the 1980s
neon smiling faces, dragged across New Jersey
boardwalk, crane game, zinc cream, seagull wars
Atlantic Arcade

you live forever, I’ll do the same
punch buggy yellow, punch buggy green

then we were walking in the tunnels under the asylum
into the flooded cranberry bog
armed with tree branch weapons
in case of werewolves, man
the toxic waste sunsets burnt over the powerlines
and I held your hand while you made up your mind
tripping on tripwire in the deertrails
burnt out shells of long ago parties
nothing is as depressing as a maze of pine
nothing feels as good as the first time

there used to be a field behind my house
where the dogs ran, but the dogs got sick
died slowly on the concrete floor
it was my father’s garage, stained with oil and wine
we buried the dogs down by the creek
the leaves covered everything so quick
now like my kid days, I’m not sure where the dogs are
somewhere in a nest of pine needles
long gone and without marker
vague and over-saturated wild hum technicolor

but there was christmas wrapping paper
so deep it covered the whole living room floor
my mom and dad didn’t have shit as kids
so for us they both worked two shifts,
aerosol spray can factory, fixing garbage trucks,
cutting fabric, day shift night shift
what’s the difference?

just wanted to tell you that I don’t remember anything specific
but I feel everything that happened in the cage of my ribs
like a dumb bird flying occasionally against my heart
bringing back fingerprint-thick Polaroid photos
and smudged cheap wax coloring book pages
the names of the deadend streets where I used to live
and the dreams that woke me up sweating
where you were dead



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