by Jim Benz

Jim calls my name from across the street
while I’m cleaning the bed of my pick-up.
I cross over. His breath smells whiskey sweet
but its only noon. His eyes are syrup.
He can’t stop speaking of Jenni. Too smug
to say something nice, so he says the same
old crap all over again. “It was drugs
or suicide, man, she just wasn’t sane.”
Later, I’m in my garage touching her
bike, my tools are still lying on the floor.
Its been two weeks since I called her number
to say the bike was fixed, and nothing more.
She didn’t answer because she was dead,
wide-eyed on the tile. This sticks in my head.


Author's Note: published in Ygdrasil, soon to be published in Red Fez

Posted on 08/09/2005
Copyright © 2022 Jim Benz

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Richard D Frederick on 08/10/05 at 12:12 AM

i'm not sure i can comment on this with anything meaningful...

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 08/10/05 at 04:15 AM

I dig the syntax and set up to deliver quite the evocative message. Welcome to Pathetic.org!

Posted by Rula Shin on 08/12/05 at 06:05 PM

Nature does not discriminate does it, and the living left to justify. Intense and compelling piece, it left me cold with chills.

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 09/10/05 at 09:42 PM

"She didn't answer because she was dead." This line is so simple in the striking shock of the truth - it leaves me stunned in countless ways.

Posted by Nadia Gilbert Kent on 03/16/08 at 10:25 PM

I like what you do a lot. It's commendable when writers that allow poems to find their meanings in the moment. It's a rarity, either because poets don't find reality stimulating enough or because they don't know when to stop describing things. I think you've got the tight-rope walk down.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 07/29/08 at 10:28 PM

Real death amidst real life - nothing glossed over or "embalmed". I like this.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 01/20/17 at 11:13 AM

Jim, what can I say, but I love the words you have lain down on their track. They go quite a ways in a way that fascinates and inspire curiosity in eyes never to arrive at their terminal.

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