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
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.
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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.