She Said She Dreamt
we were prisoners together,
standing to the side
while hard men fought battles,
their arterial spray like trajectories
of missiles on computer maps.
I climbed inside her head into the dream &
sniffed permanent bathroom stench
mixed with faux-bleach & burning tissue-
paper smoke off makeshift cigarettes.
It wasn’t real, but as she told her story,
I heard the desk guard shouting, “Lock down!”
I watched the goon squad roll in,
cans of mace for target practice.
I wonder if in the dream I squeezed her hand,
said, “Hold your breath. Forget,”
or if she knew how lucky she was
to dream herself into a place like that,
whereas I, in my age of atrocities,
spent eighteen hundred nights alone
trying in vain to dream myself back out.
Ace Boggess is author of four books of poetry, most recently I Have
Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018) and Ultra
Deep Field (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in
North Dakota Quarterly, River Styx, cream city review, and American
Literary Review, among others. He received a fellowship from the West
Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West
Virginia prison. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.