There’s a bobcat on the road past Kroger’s
heading for Walmart & IHOP isn’t
something you expect to read at lunchtime,
but turn on Facebook & see videos clustering
like ladybugs at a cracked window,
clips shot by strangers passing, news crews searching.
Looks more like a mountain lion,
beige & sleek, but wouldn’t one of those
prefer Cabela’s or an army-surplus store
to stock up for its rugged struggle?
Whatever its breed, everyone chases it
like the name of a song you hear but can’t place,
its earworm begging identification, &
anyway, you know there’s an exit ramp
off the four-lane between here & those strip malls,
chain restaurants, burger joints. You hope
he takes it, veers toward South Charleston,
vanishes in traffic & industrial fog
until he’s an urban legend no one believes
despite videos which only lie
if you try rather hard to force them to.
Ace Boggess is author of four books of poetry, most recently I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018) and Ultra Deep Field (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017), and the novel A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea Publishing, 2016). His writing appears in Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, Rattle, River Styx, and many other journals. He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West Virginia prison. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.