By Ace Boggess
No hat. Sunburnt, mud-flecked cheeks.
He works hard, trimming bushes
into elephants, piling leaves,
digging a trench by the fence line
for his own reasons. “What’s your name
again?” I ask. He tells me, &
I know him from long ago.
“Sorry, I didn’t recognize you.”
He says, “I’m a different person now.”
I wonder if he intends the sense
of being other than he was back then,
having gone through battle, rigor, & rust,
or how we are never the way
we see ourselves & are seen in dreams—
more cowardly or adventurous,
thinner, attractive, less haunted,
hunted, full of want & magic
when the glass has fogged.
Ace Boggess is author of three books of poetry, most recently Ultra Deep Field (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017), and the novel A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea Publishing, 2016). His fourth poetry collection, I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press. 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.