ace boggess

City lights baste the sky to a greasy sheen
like glaze poured on an overcooked roast.

Leaning back, I search for meteors
burning their strait-faced smirks,

but it’s as though bruising clouds of purplish-yellow
pull curtains at the atmosphere’s edge.

How many nights have I looked up &
seen nothing? How many comets missed,

wishes lost, wonders left for unspent musing?
I love the city. I'm a child of its noise &

shadow alleys. could walk across concrete
all my life & never miss the leaves

of a single tree. I'd like to be more
witness to the firmament. City haze

is the lie we tell to God; absence
the one offered back to us.


Ace Boggess is author of five books of poetry - Misadventure, I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, Ultra Deep Field, The Prisoners, and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled—and 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, River Styx, and many other journals. He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West Virginia prison. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia. His sixth collection, Escape Envy, is forthcoming from Brick Road Poetry Press in 2021.