What Are You Most Grateful For?

                                    —internet questionnaire

no one believes: a fork for feasting,

most intimate violence one can’t know

without having gone without. cutting

rough meat with a spoon or spork

is like chewing through an iron bar

minus dirty metallic taste.

fork means freedom, a knife power.

silverware makes one less an animal.

tyrants will take your silverware first.

we earn no utensils through prayer

or pleadings in the Circuit Court.

we receive no forks before the gallows.

first time I held one after half a decade,

I felt as if reborn, blessed. I could move

pancakes to my lips without a shuffle

of clumsiness, grateful for a speared bite

from breakfast, & the forks that followed.

Ace Boggess is author of four books of poetry, most recently I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018) and Ultra Deep Field (Brick Road, 2017). His writing appears in Notre Dame Review, Rhino, North Dakota Quarterly, Rattle, and other journals. He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West Virginia prison. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.