2 poems — Ace Boggess

Winter Morning

leaves rustle in chill wind

throated winter birds
that sing in whispers

snow on the ground
not everywhere

like a woman in a partly revealing dress

the road empty of all but ghosts
of travelers


Unable to Sleep at 4 a.m.

the first dream in weeks pays its extorted toll &
in it I am the horror

assassin sci-fi samurai slaughtering
the alien in the alien

landscape of this videogame
blood like a parasite slithers through my chest

I must not snack before bedtime
I must not read Camus

the darkness before darkness comes
sings like burning timber in my head

so sleep murders itself this night
I slip on shoes & jacket

go outside to smoke
go inside to make coffee

nighttime mocks cajoles scatters salt everywhere
as if to test the old wound

yet even without rest there is no restlessness
I cannot sleep but enjoy it more than I endure it

I even pause to watch
the snow pasted to a table out front

it does nothing never moves
my forehead touches window glass

my breathing slows
I have learned how to rest with my eyes


Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003.  His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, Atlanta Review, RATTLE, River Styx, Southern Humanities Review and many other journals.  He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.