Ace Boggess

“Oh, but Old Friend, Are We Ever Really Happy?”

                                    question asked by Andrea Fekete

Not to look for it in a life;
in a laugh, we have our moments.
Singing on stage at Calamity Café
while drinkers chat &
drown us out, we never care—
transitive rock stars
ready to toss TVs into a pool.
Riding swings at Riverfront Park,
Ohio across the Ohio from us,
the midnight lights
reflect a second universe of peace.
We tell each other stories,
play improv games, compare notes
on a film we love
or the sex lives of the rich & not-
quite-us. Happiness
exists in slant like a snake
we witness & worry about;
it mostly ignores us &
will be gone by morning.

Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, most recently Escape Envy (Brick Road, 2021). His writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Rattle, Harvard Review, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.

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