Copyright © 2001 Richard Baumgart

Things Will Calm Down If You Let Them

                                               Libra, Aug. 13, 1999

How I keep missing shooting stars . . . !
On clear nights, I fall asleep, open my eyes
to greet wishes streaking across the blank,

black canvas window yields,
except with morning I wake & can't
remember if I saw them or I dreamt.


Other nights I stand sock-footed in the street,
shivering into August— it spits at me
with rain (gray heavens cede nothing,

no promises, & silence). I try to make
my own meteorites: taillights from
tractor trailers descending highway

at the valley's edge. They burn
like cigarette butts flicked across
the galaxy, also without promises.


It's clear tonight, & embers will collapse
through the hollow like bottle rockets.
I have no use for calm. Yet as I say it,

Perseus laughs droplets of blood from
the gorgon's head. Rest, he tells me,
come breathe deeply, sleep, & turn to stone.

Ace Boggess
Copyright © 2001

Ace Boggess has published in Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, The Oregon Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Sundog, Borderlands, and many other journals. He recently was awarded a fellowship in fiction from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Currently, he is seeking publishers for his first full-length poetry collection, The Essence of Silence, and for eight literary novels.

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