Sun is out after days of clouds
that left their grief as a parting gift.
I step outside, & pollen marshals troops.
It scratches my throat. I cough &
think, Is this it? Have I died &
not yet figured it out? God,
why does my brain corrupt
a peaceful moment in the light?
Even here in my comfortable prison,
the virus that can’t reach me does
until I panic at a bead of sweat,
a little ache, a misspent breath.
It’s a beautiful morning
to write my own obituary.
Somewhere else, it’s raining—
each drop a survivor of the storm.
Ace Boggess is author of five books of poetry—Misadventure, I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, Ultra Deep Field, The Prisoners, and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled—and the novels States of Mercy and A Song Without a Melody. His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, Mid-American Review, Rattle, River Styx, and 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. His sixth collection, Escape Envy, is forthcoming 2021.