Ace Boggess

The feminine robotic voice
has no evil in it, no intent,
telling us we have a minute
left for goodbyes
or to finish our business
before the dialogue will end.
I heard it often
from the other side
of the fence, instructing,
Shush, convict. Rest
your throat.
time to say, I love you
to whomever took my call
as I take yours, as I take yours
with a lighter heart &
a head full of memories
I would trade for yours
were the voice not promising
end times with neither
afterlife nor paradise at all.

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 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. His sixth collection, Escape Envy, is forthcoming from Brick Road Poetry Press in 2021.

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