Sunday, February 5, 2023



Forgive me when I praise my wealth 

of misadventure: 

how the knife pressed against me scarred my thumb 

& fingers, 

never took my throat; 

how the knife that pierced my lower back 

spared an artery by an inch of fat; 

how the knife I wielded like a child’s plastic sword 

found an arm & thigh but nothing 

to haunt me past this writing-down; 

how the knife I threw stuck only in a door; 

how the pistol cocked behind me somewhere in shadow 

never discharged 

while cash & goods were exchanged; 

how the larger knife held at my neck 

turned out to be a test 

by a desperate man who wanted my desperation; 

how the officer’s boot grinding my skull 

into a blood-soaked pharmacy floor 

raised up before a bone could fracture; 

how the fists of other prisoners found my face 

just enough to land a message; 

how I survived the way I lived; 

how knowing I survived 

somehow doesn’t make me a survivor; 

how the knife tonight cut meat— 

so dull, I thought, so simple & pleasingly dull.


Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, including Escape Envy (Brick Road 

Poetry Press, 2021), I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, and The Prisoners. His 

writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review

Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in 

Charleston, WV, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.


We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an 
opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of 
poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors 
from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to 
hear it.

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