Emptiness Is Not Enlightenment
More often of late I’m floating over concrete,
body light, head a dead void.
Reaching for doorknob, wall, or chair,
I tether myself to a site
to prevent crash-landing, catastrophe.
Not spiritual lift, an awakening;
not dope-numb bliss, beloved of my youth—
it’s the blood-pressure high,
the stood-too-quick-&-stopped-breathing blues.
Funny/sad how near-disasters
feel like the touch of the Divine.
After pain I’ve put my organs through,
it’s a wonder they still love me.
Bones, too—they should’ve broken long ago.
Man is the animal that calls falling flying,
doesn’t recognize the dying
until a next bedazzled phantom
dance—please, a holy fervor just this once.
Ace Boggess is author of five books of poetry—Misadventure, I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, Ultra Deep Field, The Prisoners, and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled—and the novels States of Mercy and A Song Without a Melody. His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, Mid-American Review, River Styx, and many other journals. 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.