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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, most recently Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2021). His poems have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.

White unclothed mannequin lying in the street.

[question asked by Randi Ward]



I’m left with doubts,

afraid of a city I enter every day,


exit unfulfilled; afraid of night’s absences.

Once there were many companions,


but who would drive cross-country to rescue me

from a foe that can’t be genuine?


The ones I believed in have fled the battlefield

of daily rituals, or I have,


returning to the city of my birth

where I never felt safe, at home, or welcome,


though redbuds purple in bloom,

affectionate, & cars pull close


as though drivers might love me if I weren’t

a pothole on their happy road.

Header image pixabay

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