Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poems: The Prisoners (forthcoming from Brick Road) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire, 2003). His poems have appeared in Mid-American Review, Harvard Review, River Styx, Rattle and many other journals. He has a B.A. in journalism from Marshall University and a J.D. from West Virginia University. He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. He currently resides in Charleston, West Virginia.
“And Do You Also Believe That I Am So Very, Very Wicked?”
[Mary Shelley, Frankenstein]
If I came to you with arms stretched wide,
bearing sugar-white & violet-leafed orchids,
you would see only the knife that is & isn’t there.
These things stay with us: Cain mark, bloody A,
rap sheet like a litany or monument for the lost.
What has passed, though not between us, comes
between us. It lurks in subatomic memory,
all our electrons dreaming naked singularity—oh
to go back to neat & orderly nothing
from which something bloomed, an ever-
expanding splatter of dark energy & dark matter.
A man cannot undo the sudden burst of chaos
from which his life was ordered, though in the made
universe there’s more than vacuum, radiation, &
the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.
There’s romance also: mooning, starry-eyed,
alive with comets that cross the clearest nights
when skin tingles from wind’s verse &
you suddenly recall this morning’s horoscope:
“Look past the horizon,” it said. “The situation
could be volatile. Know what it takes to relax.”