Ace Boggess is author of three books of poetry, most recently Ultra Deep Field (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017), and the novel A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea Publishing, 2016). His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, RATTLE, River Styx, North Dakota Quarterly and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.
I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sorry for your loss.
I must practice lest I get words wrong:
this simple thing I don't know how to say.
I've never been a mourner, never worn
those black glasses grief prescribes.
I confess that I can't empathize
with what way you react when people die —
now someone close, your heart, your wife.
How might I sneak you past
the weepers in this sadness study group,
I who’ve not yet read the introduction
to their text? I'm sorry for your loss,
I'll tell you, mechanical as a grinding clock,
but why should you listen? What good
will it do? I'd be like a pallbearer
showing up with broken arms —
more dead weight on the uneven path,
drunken lout who came too late,
singing his song of sorry for your loss.
Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
All contents © the author.