The Monster I'd Be

Gill Man wants to be loved & left alone.
Everyone disturbs his morning float.
The bombshell swims his heartbeat faster.
The rest come after: sailors & scientists
launching spears, poisonous clouds.
He fights back (to be loved & left alone).

Gill Man knows: get low before silt
mirrors the surface (left alone) &
act the monster’s part (be loved).
His murders as innocent as uncharted pools,
grotesque appearance his façade,

Gill Man could be any daydreamer
at a corner table in Starbucks
waiting for a stranger to ask him
about the new romance he’s reading.
No one does: (loved, loved, loved &
left alone) a monstrous mind
is full of contradictions.

Author Reading

About the Author

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.