Three Poems by Ace Boggess

Ace Boggess

News, Not Unexpected

Romantic partners don’t like each other. Not really.
Not in the I-want-to-be-trapped-inside-with-you-

for-months kind of way. They prefer a comfortable companion
& to be left alone for hours to work, plan, fantasize,

or roll the bones in an alley. News from China:
once the virus unclenched its fist, divorce rates spiked,

according to the internet, as reliable as marriage.
We’ll see it here: sad guitars removed from basements;

undergarments packed for a trip to elsewise.
Home is where the hate is. The spider dangling in a corner,

legs continuously knitting, draws ire from the dog, awake
because the mistress lounges, wondering What was I thinking?

about her husband playing games on his phone,
forgetting to press mute so the house sounds

like a pinball machine’s insides—a circle Dante
never thought of, lucky he lost his love early,

then traipsed through hell in search of her
rather than learn they both were there already.

Second Day, Post-Lockdown

Staying home as much as I can.
A sequel coming: Return
of the Virus, Revenge
of the Virus, The Virus Strikes Back.

Yesterday was Star Wars Day,
so you get the joke.

Could as easily have said
The Virus II—the Virus Lives,
The Virus—a New Beginning, or
The Virus Takes Manhattan.

Watching a lot of bad movies
lately, & worrying
about family, friends, possible hexes
placed by their religions
or inability to sit still for long.

Worrying over my life, too,
fears of having wasted it.

I’d like to step out
of basement shadows &
romance the body, anybody’s
body, if only I had antibodies.

For now, I’m staying in,
shouting into emptiness,
Love me! The virus does,
waits to embrace me in Virus—
the Final Nightmare; Virus III—
Season of the Witch.


Tell me one broken thing
repaired with tenderness
instead of force.

Wounded hawk? Restraints.
Beloved pet? The needle waits.

Ceramic vase by glue or gold?
What brutality we show
piecing together shards.


Ace Boggess

Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, including Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2021), I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, and The Prisoners, as well as the novels States of Mercy and A Song Without a Melody. His writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, Mid-American Review, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.

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