It’s Not Enough

to know you haven’t died
the empty shell beside a rural route
I am not there to cradle you to my throat
spin you like a kitten sprouting wings
chasing itself through the heavens
I grab a memory & pull it close
sniff the vanilla that is your scent at any distance
you live on
you linger
you burn like an oak in October

hidden behind the bulletproof past between us
caught in the crowd where a shooting occurred
drinking poisoned water
taking an icy needle to your arm
breaking at the hands of hard men you kept so close
now come
awaken in some calming bed
with coffee on the nightstand &
a book to whisper poetry
that eases you into further going on

I worry about expenditures of disappointment
where does sun through the window begin &
where the suffering?
though you have not walked through ten-point type of the obituaries
I never find you on the lifestyles page
acting singing frolicking next to gray squirrels in the park
it’s darkness I conjure
thick as a swirling taw battering through the ducks
what noise it makes
what silence

Ace Boggess is author of the novel A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea Publishing, 2016) and two books of poetry, most recently, The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014). Forthcoming is a third poetry collection: Ultra-Deep Field (Brick Road). His poems have appeared in Harvard Review, Rattle, River Styx, North Dakota Quarterly, and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.

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