“Will It Be Quieter There?”

By Ace Boggess

              [question asked by Grace Welch]             


 In the paradise of Mozart on Pandora.

In the paradise of mute buttons & subtitles.

In the paradise of stuffed pandas lined in rows.

In the paradise of your apartment

          when you’re not in it,

                                                  its resident stillness,

                              space as blank as this page once.


I’ll spend an hour or two waiting                             

for your package to be delivered like a jewel

so it doesn’t end up in a thief’s hands,

while I lounge in your empty bed,

imagining you left your imprint on the mattress,

pillows. I’ll drink coffee, write, &

pause the rituals of Facebook,

Gmail, Twitter, until your ukulele comes,

singing like chicks in a shoebox, blind.

Then there can be music. Then there can be thrum.


In the paradise of first notes & unintended minor keys.

In the paradise of memories from your Hawaiian youth.

In the paradise of us, whatever melodies

          our fingers manage—you on your instrument,

                                                  I, as ever, on mine.


Ace Boggess is author of four books of poetry, most recently I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018). His writing appears in Notre Dame Review, Rhino, Rattle, and other
journals. He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West Virginia prison.