I used to take you
long highway miles to Calamity Cafe
where you read your poetry &
I played songs seasoned with vodka &
forgetfulness. After work-
you dressed like a Beat
in black on black, beret & all,
me with hair around my eyes to hide
whatever they reveal-
I picked you up at your apartment, &
we began the hour's drive, high at first
on nothing but philosophy.
You eyed me through the dark while I ran off
new theories about the what, why & how of us,
a few undeveloped notions still years from finding
their fit in my thoughts & work.
You listened to me, ignoring the tape
living out its life on the car stereo:
Piper at the Gates of Dawn, or else Nirvana.
Silent, attentive, you were
my student more than lover,
a young colleague more than friend.
It was as though every word I spoke
reached into a part of you kept sealed &
packed on ice, & as though
what thoughts I offered you were
silky like chocolate & rich; perfumed
with roses, patchouli & cinnamon.
Ace Boggess' work has appeared in HARVARD REVIEW, ATLANTA REVIEW, NOTRE DAME REVIEW, CALIFORNIA QUARTERLY, OREGON REVIEW, WISCONSIN REVIEW, and many other journals. He is a 2001 fellowship recipient from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Ace's poem "The Drive," from this issue, is part of his newest collection, The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled, forthcoming from Highwire Press in February, 2003. For advance ordering info, e-mail him at email@example.com.
Potentially, might be ...