Two poems by Ace Boggess

If You’re Reading This, Accept My Apologies

I’ve been abusive to my body:

pills & cocaine, vodka, cigarettes,

sodas, fatty foods, knife fights,

concussions caused by heavier fists than mine,

a deputy’s shiny boot. Sure,

I’m calmer, anxieties neatly tucked into a flannel pocket

above my heart; a part of me is dying—more than one.

I won’t be around to write your elegy;

I will—although unwillingly—go first,

leaving no one to lie at your funeral,

say your life was full of luminescence.

There were moments of smiling

against your will when alien happiness

carried you off. You were the most

majestic tiger in the circus:

proud & melancholy, fierce but tame

or biding your time to lunge.

You lived between lethargy &

desire for greatness like a bored queen.

I wish I could be there

to bow before you one last time.

I’ll be elsewhere, otherwise,

finally getting a good night’s sleep

& dreaming of nothing

which burns a light of its own.

“How Difficult Was Prison?”

[question asked by Joel Fry]