local_library Why I Can’t Go Back to Prison

by Ace Boggess

Published in Issue No. 248 ~ January, 2018
 The block smells like sewers,

brushfires, opened vials of sweat.


The noise—my God, the noise:

radio static at 2 a.m., constant talking,


shouting, hands slapping tables,

fists clipping chins.


Every wound is a spider bite or staph infection.

Everyone cheats at cards.


All men are guilty,

no matter what they didn’t do;


lonely whoever they’ve met in their lives outside.

Better to rest in a rattlesnake pit &


wait awhile to be devoured,

knowing the tension never lasts too long.

account_box More About

BIO: Ace Boggess is 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.