Ace Boggess: “Holy”




Don’t recall which day pills
began to count me among their followers.

Old enough to make better choices,
too young to understand fear controlled them

as if I were a scrawny mutt trained to cower.
There are gods others worship &

gods they hide behind
like holy drywall harboring mice.

Which were mine? I bowed to them,
bent, broke, sacrificed while I muttered pleas.

My gods wanted nothing from me
except everything.



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: “Head from a Statue of a Youth” Roman 100 B.C.–A.D. 100, Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

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