26 January 2014


Jane had a pit bull
I'd walk the dog for hours
up and down the hills
of a quiet neighborhood
an hour up north

She'd walk
with us sometimes
we wouldn't have lasted
so long
over a year
but the pit bull
really loved me

the best night with Jane
in fact, was a disaster
a house behind
the record store
caught fire
and as we, all three of us
walked down the hill
to watch the flames
throw sparks over the
A-frame roofs
it started to snow

the fire trucks showed up
Jane squeezed my hand
the pit bull barked
we stood for a long time
watching them douse the house
their yells,
their flashing lights
"This is cheaper than a movie."
"And in real 3-D."
An ax split the door

the house was incandescent
the pit bull on her haunches
Jane said, "The street looks
as bright as noon."

From her bedroom window
we watched the flicker
me on the floor
her on the bed

Leaving, in my car
at actual noon
the house we'd visited
was nearly gone
grey ash, collapse
there was a foot of snow
everywhere else
except that yard

At the record store
they had a bin
of warped vinyl
bent from the heat
I still listen to some of them
warbled, alien noise
others perfectly fine
despite how they look


Bud Smith grew up in New Jersey, and currently lives in Washington Heights, NYC with a metric ton of vinyl records that he bought at Englishtown flea market for a dollar. He is the author of the short story collection Or Something Like That (2012), and Tollbooth (Piscataway House 2013); he hosts the interview program The Unknown Show; edits at Jmww and Uno Kudo; works heavy construction in power plants and refineries. Currently, he's probably watching My Cousin Vinny.

No comments:

Post a Comment