Prosecutor spoke two words,
froze me with outrage
as if I had won the dirty lottery &
didn’t want the prize: a slow-drip death.
I had no passport, money, friends
living abroad like celebrities—
my world so small it could be a cell.
I locked myself in a room
with anxieties, rarely left the house
except to score dope or cigarettes.
No god opened his doors for me
except the god of powder-white pills
who offered space &
a hard bed, said, Stay here &
always be close to home.
About the Author: 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.
More by Ace Boggess:
Image Credit: Russell Lee “Corner of attic bedroom in farmhouse. Williams County, North Dakota” (1937) The Library of Congress