September 25, 2022

“Who Doesn’t Drink Coffee?”

by Ace Boggess

                                                      [question asked by Savannah Dudley]

 

My ex-wife
                               didn’t
                                                   like the taste

          of oily burnt asphalt
boiled in the morning
                                                   like a candle lit
                              for prayer.

My ex-wife—
                              I want to say
                                                   maybe
         that’s why
we didn’t last,
                                                  but there are
                              other reasons

we both
                              store
                                                  in suitcases
           labeled
resentment.

                                                  I gave her cause,
                               as she gave me.

Coffee
                               didn’t do that
                                                       to us
or lack of it,

although it makes me angry
                                                       on mornings
                                  I don’t get enough

warmth,
                                  time,
                                                       serenity
              of eye-opening
joe. I confess
                                                  I am in love
                             with bitterness.  

 

Ace Boggess is the author of six books of poetry, including Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2021) 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, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.