“Must I Implore You for More of What I Want?”

—Rachel A. Hicks, “Nights of Noise” 

The psychology of needs could fill ten thousand volumes
& not be complete, never be finished,
neither in a scholar’s treatise nor a poet’s litany.
Want leads to want like a junkie chasing the dragon
or an archaeologist not satisfied with the discovery
of a tomb. We say we want a happy death—
what’s left past that? To be remembered?
As you are, Rachel, after our friend Doug
published this posthumous collection of your work.
Beautiful, lyrical, confessional—
it’s what you would’ve wanted, I think,
although it wouldn’t solve for X in the Want Equation
which is equivalent to whatever fills the holes in us
& lets us live as though every dancing star
we wobble under giddily by night.

Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, including Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press,
2021), I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, and The Prisoners. 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.

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