“Where Is the Pain in Your Life Right Now?”
— religious pamphlet
Hurt sings like a bluesman in your bones.
Hurt pleads for mercy from your bones.
What are bones but memory’s fossil record
to prove the science of you, evolution?
How they cry—how do they? Do they
scream like a train’s metal braking over tracks?
Do they silence? Would you, if you could, forget?
Come, accept this balm, this whisper in a canyon of regret.
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, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.