James Benger


We walked rails and
blew bubble gum into
our own faces.

We shot bb’s at leaves and
smelled the slow burn of October.

We wiped out on our bikes
in gravel church parking lots and
practiced skateboard tricks
in friends’ garages.

Up in the tree house, we
played Never Have I Ever
with the neighbor girl and
we talked dreams behind the gym.

We played flashlight tag in the field and
we made bonfires from algebra books.

We told scary stores over hot
chocolate and kerosene and
we felt bees in our arms.

Money was a box of Runts
and a glass of Dr. Pepper.

Love was for the now and
for the future.

Life was for us.

When it’s all over,
no one can say
we didn’t live.


James Benger has written a bunch of stuff. Some of it has even been published in print and on the interwebs. So far there are three chapbooks, six splits, and two full-lengths. He is the resident slacker on the Board of Directors of the Writers Place, and is the most truant member of the Riverfront Readings Committee. He is also the admin of an online poetry workshop called 365 Poems in 365 Days. He lives and Kansas City with his wife and children.