“Did You Ever Switch from One Drug to Another?” by Ace Boggess

“Ancient Vessel” by Kathy O’Meara

[rehab workbook]

The straw knows no master.
It worships at its favored temple,
strays toward momentary cults
of joy. I dabbled. Chased the high,
the dragon. Chased security.
Chaste because I lost a step.
I’m not a proud man often enough to matter.
I remember crawling over carpet,
feeling for fragments of pills that flew
in the crushing. Sometimes I found them;
others, rocks—how could I tell
until one nostril smelled the ancient corpse,
membranes burning like matchheads?
I tried to snort the Earth in one long line.



Ace Boggess is author of three books of poetry, most recently Ultra Deep Field (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017), and the novel A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea Publishing, 2016). His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, RATTLE, River Styx, North Dakota Quarterly and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.