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Dead and Buried
by Ace Boggess

Walked among strangers

hand in hand with a lover,

stopping to note a child’s toys—

elephants & cars—or slightly-

wilted flowers in a vase.

Stood across the street,

smoking & staring at totality,

vastness, green as an aurora.

Though I collected names in a journal,

to go & say I know you,

speak to any absence,

I found no comfort in it

like cocktails after work

or the strained, bland plot

of a television show.

I’m not a man who entertains

the invisible, preferring

to encounter those living,

trade life force & philosophy

until a moment passes.

Before the earth, the crossing.

Ace Boggess is an author of six books of poetry, most recently Escape Envy. His writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble. His seventh collection, Tell Us How to Live, is forthcoming in 2024 from Fernwood Press.

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