“Is the Lack of Daylight Night?” by Ace Boggess

photo of rabbit

“Northfield Rabbit” (image via Flickr user James)

“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.