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Ace Boggess

We Must Tear into the Wall

to find the leak, each minor push come morning

browning more of paint & baseboard,

dampening an arc of carpet

like end-waves trickling farther toward high tide.

We will go from the bottom up

as if climbing the devil out of an inferno.

How else does one repair

what isn’t there but has to be somewhere?

We must punch a hole through drywall,

then rebuild—can’t avoid

the damage we’re about to do

to save us from the damage that’s been done.


Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, most recently Escape Envy (Brick Road, 2021). His poems have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Harvard Review, Rattle, Hotel Amerika, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.


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