Friday, June 23, 2023

“Will I Outlive My Diagnosis?” by Ace Boggess

          question asked by Miriam Sagan

Hemlock blight poisons the poisoners,

brings death to a deadly grove.

The arthritic dog has taken to seizures,

few dog years left, perhaps not one.

So-&-so died the other day

holding his favorite guitar with a broken string.

Poetry doesn’t save a single life,

though maybe it extends a few.

I smell wild onions in the grass &

think this is bound to be the end.

I’m trying to sound reassuring,

but can’t predict a minute of the future. 

Spare a few dollars, any carnival psychic

happily will tell you the good news.


Ace Boggess is 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.