by Ace Boggess
Dreamt a prison fight repeating.
Three times. Same guy, faceless.
Guards kept dragging him off
to the hole, & back he came,
having learned nothing, yanking his
bedclothes from beneath an inmate,
collecting his few possessions from
those who’d claim them. Each time,
fists. Each time, blood before officers
I didn’t feel like a prisoner.
I was there, watching,
not innocent but guilty only
in the sense that I did nothing
to prevent these violent
affairs, as American as any
gathered around a house on fire.
About the Author
Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, most recently Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2021). His poems have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, River Styx, Harvard Review, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.