Ace Boggess

What's the Difference Between Panic Grass and Love Grass?

Look. Plastic placards label weed-like waves
bundled lacking context save their adjectives.
See arms raised aflutter, sunning near the entrance
at the Cincinnati Zoo. Which is which, & which
is what, & what distinction? Webster's 9th
sketches love grass embracing flattened spikelets,
deciduous lemmas; judges panic grass important
for foraging & cereal: these not answers;
a few green facts, minutiae. Better to know
how love grass circles bedrooms of the innocent,
spreads a fire crossing legs, blazing over mad, romantic letters;
nights, it tires: gray & worn. Too, O to learn
that panic grass surrounds me while I search
through dark for sleepó outpaces pulse,
smothers straining breaths, shivers like skin
in any easy wind. Eyes closed, I see panic grass
in all directionsó loveless, jealousó
as if love grass dried & fell away. I toss, turn,
awaken cold with sweat. No love this night,
I teach myself to rest. Stilled, waning,
finally I dream an endless field.

Ace Boggess of Huntington, WV, is author of one book of poem, THE BEAUTIFUL GIRL WHOSE WISH WAS NOT FULFILLED, published in 2003 by Highwire Press, and several unpublished literary novels currently being shopped to editors.  His poems have appeared in Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, Poetry East, Blue Mesa Review, Atlanta Review and similar journals.  Currently he is promoting his new CD featuring 13 original songs, many of which can be found on the web as free mp3s ( boggess or


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