What Will You Do if the Pain Subsides?

by Ace Boggess

If withering bones hollow out
like those of birds, will I take wing?
My joints–ankles, wrists,
knees–needing a squirt of WD40,
sing chattering hallelujahs when I move
as if Handel’s Messiah
transposed for cricket & cicada.
What lies my sinuses tell my eyes,
squinting, indifferent to the ache inside.
When does growing older
transform into growing old?
When does the cough of a cold
etch scars in the throat
that never fade? I should
break my nose on a stranger’s fist
to remind me, even at my age,
some things heal.

*Title is from a medical pamphlet


You’re sitting on a dock with an old   friend, catching up on the experiences you haven’t shared. He asks what you fear at this point in your life. What is your answer?    

The peculiar terrors of love.
Alternative medicine.
A tiny, bluish foot.
Here be dragons. Here be a man whose body is fading before the first step is ever taken.