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at the psychic fair - ace boggess

Remember our trip to the psychic fair?

You do & don’t, you mind a different mind

than then, failure of your medication

blotting years into absences.


You chose the I Ching for your reading.

I bought you incense & a bag in which to store it.

Did you burn the incense? What happened

to the bag? You might not recollect


as much as you’d like; I know

you recall the hard-backed

Victorian couch upstairs, shown

by two men who owned the house.


You wanted it—it was for sale—

your face sporting an expression of desire

you rarely wore for me in those days.

You were the saddest dragon ever imagined,


not written down in fantasies:

you couldn’t snatch it for your hoard,

couldn’t afford it. I still wonder

what your psychic host predicted


beyond a sofa-less future &

years of trying to get your psych meds right.

You will suffer & struggle, she must have said.

I wish I could’ve afforded to buy the couch.


Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, most recently Escape Envy. His writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble. His seventh collection, Tell Us How to Live, is forthcoming in 2024 from Fernwood Press.


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