DAY FIVE: Featured Work by Bud Smith / by Bud Smith

Poem for Whoever

I write your name on a balloon with a blood red marker and then I release it up into the sky

I watch you float away, you look happy but it might be because your balloon has a smiley face on it.

As I'm standing there a person is beside me all of a sudden and says, “That thing, when it lands, is going to kill something.”

I look at the person and at the ballon, incredulously. “Kill something.”

And then I feel like yes it will kill something, it may be that all of earth is suddenly so fragile that all of it will wiped out by your balloon, so I start to run.

I run down the block underneath the balloon and I remain underneath it as it rises up and up and becomes a small speck. 

I run into an apartment building and the elevator is broken so I run up the stairs and there are very many stairs but at the top of the building, once on the roof, I see your balloon right there.


I throw a brick at it but the brick just bounces off and falls to the street below.

Shattering things. Splattering stuff.

I'm embarrassed to say, but I carry an unregistered hand gun. 

So I take the gun out and fire a few shots at your balloon. 

The first five shots miss, the sixth nicks you.

And you fall fell down to the street.

When I got back down to the street I find the balloon and the brick. 

The brick is fine. Your balloon is flat but still smiling. 

And the person came back over to say, “Thank you for your heroics.”

So I folded your balloon up and put it in my pocket and I carried it with me for a long time.

Carried it until just yesterday, when I finally arrived in paradise and reached the edge of the blue blue surf and the dolphin said, ahh-cacacacacacaca, with its head popping out of the water, pulling you from my pocket 

smiling, as it swam away with you into the airbrushed sunset.

Bud Smith's books are I'm From Electric Peak, F250Calm FaceEverything Neon, and others. His writing has been at Hobart, Smokelong, The Rumpus and Wigleaf. He runs Unknown Press, works heavy construction, and lives in Jersey City, NJ.