“Facebook Keeps Telling Me” by Ace Boggess

Ace Boggess


I should be friends with my ex-wife,
extend handshake & chivalrous salute,
as if we might hang out
somewhere between servers &
play Gin Rummy, digital checkers,
as if not-enemies isn’t enough;
we have to like each other, &
our posts. Her face appears,
sadly smiling, on my screen
like a phantom, like any
of one hundred thousand memories,
ambiguous. +Add Friend,
the social network strong-arms me,
demanding I send a new request
as though she wouldn’t request in turn
twenty years of her life back, &
I wouldn’t find it too disturbing
to read about her relationship status,
thumb through pictures of her travels
to beaches, zoos, concerts, cathedrals,
with whomever might prove
martyr enough for love.
I’m much too busy regretting,
also trying to forget, & dancing
in a dark & empty room,
while wondering how I should
pitch Facebook on an +Add
Not-Enemy button for those
we’d rather not know, except we do.

from Rattle #55, Spring 2017

[download audio]


Ace Boggess: “However tragic or romantic, however chaotic or routine, life is absurd. I’m fascinated by the absurdity. I want to collect it in mason jars and give those out as gifts. That’s why I write poems, also an absurd thing to do. Well, that and I have few other useful skills. I mean, who would hire me? My current motto: ‘Will Post Poems to Facebook for Food.’” (webpage)

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