“Is the Lack of Daylight Night?”
(question asked by Arthur McMaster)
Two gunshots in the just-past-twilight mostly-dark:
one & then the next. Close enough to startle
the brown jack nuzzling grass in a nearby patch
yet so distant I can’t determine
if those sounds are rifles in the southern woods
or they’ve come southeast across the river
thundering from rage-squeezed handguns in the inner city:
dueling noblemen in their tricorn hats,
I think, but more likely the young, drunk,
poor, & angry, killing each other without cause &
failing. What I don’t understand is why
I let them disturb me while I sit in shadow.
This isn’t my first entry into night, &
that not the last rabbit I’ll see running away
from nothing to the greater nothing
of a place thought safe as nothing ever is.
Ace Boggess is the author of the novel A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea Publishing, 2016) and two books of poetry, most recently, The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014). Forthcoming is a third poetry collection: Ultra-Deep Field (Brick Road). 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.