Prisoner, felon, unlikely addict,
whisperer of sweet words
dropped in the wilderness—
this is a promise of remembrance.
No crime you’ve committed
against yourself first, others later,
demands erasure. You exist,
if lost, shelved, concealed.
My words will come to greet your words.
Our words entangle like limbs of oaks
that seem to touch seen from a distance.
Your words find company with mine.
My words sing from the silent page:
an anthem of freedom
I had to learn. You’ll hear its chorus
like the squeal of brakes on a bus
heading elsewhere, stopping
long enough to take you in.
Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, most recently Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2021). His poems have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Harvard Review, Moon City Review, Hotel Amerika, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.