Heartfelt Conversation

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