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The Stars


—Matthew Lippman, "Big Mac Run"

By Ace Boggess

We could pull our tiny, cluttered vehicles

up to the drive-through window &

be handed god, life meanings, or perfect love

in a paper sack, head home, & 

tear into whatever it is we bought,

content like finches in a puddle

to be washed clean 

of uncertainties, doubts, guilt, regrets,

confusion of where the money went

or why bodies we want next to ours

have spent time of late next to other bodies.


We could enjoy our purchase,

our purpose

if that were what we chose,

while lying back in a recliner with the TV on,

ablaze with news that, as at the end 

of a novel, suddenly made sense.


Of course, we’d have to check the order

first, be certain

the clerk at the window got it right,

say, I wanted a side of destiny, 

or, I didn’t ask for pragmatism,

while the clerk compared our receipt

to the unbreakable code on her screen.

Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, most recently Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2021). His writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, Harvard Review, 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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