This is the deception I try not to put my faith in though it bounces a disappointing ball. I want to say things absent in our history. I’m lying—prefer an admission of fault, same as anyone after the souring. That was years ago, the two of us today less likely to say hello than strangers in distant nations. Yet this conversation we won’t have haunts me more than paperwork, timing, regret. Last time we spoke, you asked for the name of a plumber who snaked our line whenever tree roots backed sewer water into our basement in a different age— a minor flood of murk, a bit of assistance, no real words between us.
by Ace Boggess
Ace Boggess is 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, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.
photo credit: Alex Andrews