Ace Boggess

Dreamt I Was Playing a Gig

or open mic like I often did
before the virus, before prison,
before smoking bans
forced my favorite club to close
as patronage diminished,
before I lost my voice twice &
never regained a range
of tones. I held someone else’s
acoustic guitar, yellow-brown
like a coffee stain on paper,
fresh. It chimed & thrummed
while I played no music
that I know: songs within
dreams reveal. Beautiful &
terrible discordant
runes called to ruins
of my throat. The audience
lost interest, as it will. Then,
I strummed Nirvana’s
“About a Girl” & everyone
inside me was into me again.
I sang, loudly & overjoyed,
one full verse before
my eyes were opened.

Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, including Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2021), I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, and The Prisoners. His writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.

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