Ace Boggess: “Flight Risk”



Flight Risk

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—MisadventureI Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It SoUltra 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:

Rock Garden

And Why Am I A Free Man?

Why Did You Try To Sober Up?


Image Credit: Russell Lee “Corner of attic bedroom in farmhouse. Williams County, North Dakota” (1937) The Library of Congress

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