The New Summer, Ace Boggess

Can’t stray in heat beyond a single cigarette.
Sweat pulls its raincoat tight against your chest.
Pollen’s a noxious vapor more chthonic than parachuting.
The paper reports Lone Star ticks are spreading this year,
ones that change your body so you can’t eat meat.
Weatherman says spring is the new summer,
which must make summer the coming ruin.
Dog days will leave you without a breath for your unwilling-
vegetarian, dehydrated, puffed, pink self that smells of salt & tar.
Already you want to pry a window open,
break & enter your house & steal a little air-conditioned air:
it’s new summer & you’ve begun despising
all the extra skin you’re boiling in.

*

Ace Boggess is author of five books of poetry, most recently Misadventure (Cyberwit, 2020) and I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018), as well as two novels, including States of Mercy (Alien Buddha Press, 2019). His writing appears in Notre Dame Review, The Laurel Review, River Styx, Rhino, North Dakota Quarterly, and 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.

Ace Boggess recommends “The Old Tower of the Cemetery in Nuenen/ The Old Tower in the Fields” by Vincent Van Gogh.

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