Black Mold

Ace Boggess

I never would’ve noticed

were it not pointed out

during my uncle’s quest for a leak

that confounded

many scholars of the forms

of curving water lines &

drains. There, in back

of the sink’s cabinet:

a stripe that could’ve been glue

or a quirk in the design.

“That’s real bad,” he says,

touching black to be sure

like a teen stick-poking

a meteorite before

ending up swallowed by jelly

in The Blob. Does that make me

young Steve McQueen—

cocksure, hot-rodding,

ready to save the day?

No, I prefer to run,

even if it dooms Earth

to be the old fruit in aspic.

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.