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How Do You Know You Can Do Better?

-- overheard in an audience

Published onApr 22, 2020
How Do You Know You Can Do Better?

run out of breath, & silence follows
rather than the little death. stub my shins
on everything. not the bull in a china shop,
I’m a bull on the porcelain Earth.
if there’s a Bandage District in your town,
my afternoons help its workers earn.
when the mail runs, seems like days
no answers come, but a few new questions
in the form of debt. encore, encore.
even the cops don’t look for me,
they, too, have forsaken me. I used to call &
complain about the noise. they said,
turn off your earsyour final warning!
I didn’t hear what they told me after that.

Ace Boggess is author of four books of poetry, most recently I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018) and Ultra Deep Field (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017). His writing appears in Notre Dame Review, Rhino, North Dakota Quarterly, Rattle, 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.

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