What a day, she must have thought,
for travel—steaming ninety, sun-
stroked, stoked—before clouds
approached like battleships
waggling their mean guns.
How long did it take her to understand
she was roving from a point in space
to nowhere? That the end arrived
in advance of the end intended?
TV news flashed pictures
of her candy-apple compact car
upside-down on fire. In stills,
we could almost see passersby
staring through their dotted windows.
Who doesn’t love to witness
someone else’s catastrophic failure?
How we stared at the screen
for O.J. Simpson’s slow-
speed Bronco chase.
How amazed we were by those
seven comet fragments
slamming into Jupiter—
elsewhere, far from touching us.
No one wants a friend to overdose,
lover to acquire cancer. But,
one orange-red eruption in Hawaii
looks so vivid from a living room
in West Virginia. Pawns
must be sacrificed to the glory
of our eyes. Some drive
to their deaths, some on a highway
near my house. What hand pushing
the next piece knows regret?
~ ~ ~
Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003). Forthcoming are his novel, A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea Publishing), and a third poetry collection, Ultra-Deep Field (Brick Road). His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, RATTLE, River Styx, North Dakota Quarterly, and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.