Smothered – J. Ian Bush

He heard somebody telling somebody else about some woman in New Boston who smothered her baby. He knew smothered was bad because the person telling looked sour and the person listening frowned and shook her head. But he thought smothered sounded pretty and soft like pillow or blanket. He asked his mother what it meant. She asked him why he wanted to know. So, he told her about how the person told the other person about the woman in New Boston who smothered her baby. She told him that smothering was a bad thing that makes it so you can’t breathe. He knew that if you don’t breathe you die. Surely nobody would want to make a baby dead. Old people die and people get sad, but it’s okay because they’re old and they’ve had time. Babies are new and need time to get old. He never saw a dead person before. Besides on TV. But that isn’t real. Those are actors and they die a lot and have all kinds of different names. He thought maybe the woman in New Boston didn’t know that smothering was a bad thing because it’s such a soft word.



J. Ian Bush is an Ohioan poet who is interested in the confessional and surreal. Their first chapbook, “Route 23 to Golgotha” was published by EMP books, a small press, in early 2019. Ever since, they have been selling copies online, as well as at live readings. They also run a house venue in their city, where a regular poetry reading is held, as well as other local performing artists. Their work has been featured in various magazines and journals. 

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