A Sip of the Dead Boy’s Beer

He played drums and we found one of his 9 packs

hidden in the azaleas outside his window.

Mom said, he died of being a druggie.

First Lady Reagan said that too, but dad let me

take a sip of the dead boy’s beer It was hot

and when I swallowed, it felt like bats

nibbling at my edges. I went back to raking pine straw.

The late-morning sun stung the back of my head.

I hadn’t tried acid yet, or pot, or sex.

How light I felt, having so little to lie about.




Tim Staley was born in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1975. His debut collection, Lost On My Own Street, was released by Pski’s Porch Publishing in 2016. His most recent chapbook, The Most Honest Syllable is Shhh, was released by NightBallet Press in 2017. He founded Grandma Moses Press in 1992 and continues to serve as editor. He lives in the American stretch of the Chihuahuan Desert. For tour dates and more visit PoetStaley.com. Visit his Facebook and Instagram!


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