Where I live (Tyler Dempsey)

What stands out, is her puckered up lips. Her lips puckered up, and it, lifting like this. See this pen on your desk here. Just like this. A pen is where I hid the thing naughty girls like best.

Tonight, this night, of which we’re talking, this night, I brought over Jane. I knew she knew, being from a wooded, hole-in-the-wall place, a place where roads curl like curly-cue’s and people don’t live in the large houses set way back in the woods—a girl like this brings company.

Does she get down? This is what I asked.

I asked this, and Jane and the girl, Clara, they looked at each other in the cab of my big brown truck. They began giggling. She gets down, is how Jane answered. Both of them lifted it to their lips.

And, like this—I grinned and revved the engine. The leaves, on the road that was dirt, swirled. Me and Jane and Clara, in my truck on a road where people don’t live in the large houses set way back in the woods. Good, is how I answered.

Don’t worry, Jane said. She placed a palm on my oily jeans. You girls are going to get in trouble. At this, they looked at each other like two naughty robbers. You could be sisters, I said next.

Giggling giggled in the air. By red, puckered up cheeks. There in the cab of my big brown truck, as the roads straightened.

Roads that were dirt started being built with rock.

Houses, peopled with people houses, sit right up on roads like this.

It’s like this. With dirt and rock, with the peopled with people houses—with types of roads, with houses, and how they’re peopled—like this is the way the road talks to me. Whispering, like it does, to a person like me.

What it was telling me, was that us, in the truck, were closer to Papa’s house.

Where I live.


Tyler Dempsey is the author of a book of poems called, “Newspaper Drumsticks.” His work appears in Heavy Feather Review, trampset, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, The Daily Drunk, and elsewhere. He is a fiction reader at X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine. Find him on Twitter @tylercdempsey.


image: Kyla Houbolt