Ace Boggess

Are You Having Any Sleep Problems?

                                           —healthcare questionnaire

I can’t seem to finish my dreams.
They build to a sort of tension
too impassioning to stop—​​
little detective novels
I have written myself into.
As the clues add up,
as a spy watches me from shadows,
as I never see the monster
though I know it lurks, stalks,
I fail to find a climax,
resolution. A door won’t open.
Zombies pause for a smoke break
at 2 a.m., then quit their jobs &
won’t return. I see people I know
having sex with other people I know
although I know they don’t know
each other. They smile at me &
wave me on to the next room
as if there were an answer there,
filing cabinet filled with facts
I still haven’t figured out by 6,
when I start reading Exodus
rather than Revelations, &
the Great Delete begins again
as I roll over to silence
the droning metronome
that urges me, Get up. Now go &
play the song of forgetting.

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). 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.