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June 21, 2020 by The Citron Review

by Ace Boggess


Much of my work involves digging holes
to fill them in
so the patch of earth looks different.
Will anyone notice
brown circles where grass has been interred
like crackers in a bowl of soup?
Who passes this way on an off day at odd hours?
Joggers maybe—
dreamers writing the flat poetry of their bodies?
Dog-walkers following moving lines
their hands have fixated on?
Letter carriers
abstractly reading incorrect addresses?
No one pauses
to observe places where holes used to be,
where before they weren’t.
I find humanity in constant movement of my shovel;
the way sweat slips my palms;
the bitter, metallic scent of meaninglessness;
building a thing
or no-thing from nothing, then destroying it.
If others come looking,
they find no pieces of what’s left or lost—
a field of graves & lies.


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 Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, Mid-American Review, Rattle, 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.


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