What Would You Wish?

Ace Boggess

—overheard in a restaurant 

All those years spent at my window
weighing crabapples’ rates of wither,
measuring neighbors’ rigidity
to norms, their busy guests
ants swarming a crumb—
I watched & said nothing. 
Today, I want my words boxed &
shipped to another planet,
displayed, pored over by beings
who might decode a troubled few.


Ace Boggess is author of five books of poetry, including The Prisoners, Ultra Deep Field, and Misadventure. His sixth book, Escape Envy, is forthcoming from Brick Road Poetry Press in 2021. His writing appears in Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Tar River Poetry, 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.