December 14, 2012

Ace Boggess

PROPERTY

All I own fits in a box & a bag.
All I have loved engages the rage of rockets
                                                                          blown bright &
              quivering back as dust,
                            the scattering, descent & darkness.
For want of a dollar I’d insert one poem
              into a vending machine for peanuts:
                                                                          the mechanism
                            washes it back as counterfeit.

How would it be to possess an interest in the sun,
a lien on my lover’s breast, a trove of what bonds
                                 best mature like words of light & warmth
                                               against the blank, blurry skin of winter’s page?

Law books call it Blackacre, some hypothetical
property that can be bought or sold for a peppercorn.
It has its rules—so many, a litany of the possible,
gospel of ownership.
                                                                      Oh,
                                                      to profit from such fiction…

I must give back my tee shirts, underwear & socks.
My belt shall tie pants to a stranger’s waist.

I hold my plot in the family field,
                                                                      a black acre.

Otherwise, it’s just the sound of rain on remembered rooftops;
nostalgia for clowns & shopping malls,
                                               lost pets, spontaneous laughter &
              eavesdroppings splattered on the unrecorded past.
There’s so much nothing in the world: a man can’t even own that
                                                      without acquiring something in the loss.

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012