Divorce | Ace Boggess

Divorce | Ace Boggess

goodbye trips to Pittsburgh for hockey & the zoo
gifts of distraction we carried like First Aid kits

goodbye long dialogues on films we loved
hated & tore apart with meaty stumps of claws

goodbye nightmares from which she woke to my comforting voice &
those that saw me come to bloody-handed cursing the dark in tongues

I thought it would be more than this like a peeling away
of the epithelium exposing nerves to agony a little at a time

I thought oh I don’t know what I thought except
there would be pain work & hate stroke building an art

not just the casual “so long sucker” in fewer words
like a quiet argument of stares or a stuttering wind

I drove by the house the other day & didn’t recognize it
as more than a stranger’s face behind the window of a passing car

goodbye you rotting patio & busted sewer line
spilling your deep black stink through the undergrowth of vine

goodbye garage angled at ninety degrees
I’ll no longer take your sobriety test at 3 a.m.

goodbye awful saying of goodbyes like a murderer
who visits nightly & falls asleep on the sofa by the fire

this is the last song I will sing that steals your turn of phrase
my voice a whisper in a grassy meadow overrun with weeds


Ace Boggess is author of the novel A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea Publishing, 2016) and two books of poetry, most recently, The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014). Forthcoming is a third poetry collection: Ultra-Deep Field (Brick Road). His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, RATTLE, River Styx, North Dakota Quarterly and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.