Ace Boggess – Poem – 6

47th Birthday
by Ace Boggess

Each year I use this opportunity 
to check my wristwatch I no longer wear.
Battery dead, band frayed, 
time stopped at something after eight.

I tell myself I’m loved—
a little lie; it feels important.
I tell myself I can pack boxes of books &
flee to Montana, but Les Misérables weighs too much
while Siddhartha might slip through a crack &
fall to its peace as I cross the first of a hundred rivers.

Is the world a better place today than at my birth? 
Am I? I’m the cat who sleeps in a patch of sunlight
centering the highway—doomed & rest-dumb, 
but this tarmac feels soothing, warm. 
I have nowhere to be.
I’ll wait until my dreams are done with me.


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. His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, Mid-American Review, River Styx, and 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.