American International Pictures,
…                                                          Sino, 1959

Mars through Christmas cellophane,
a pen light shone through fingers
made penumbral to black bones;
Mars basted with strawberry glaze;
Mars in infrared if all were heat:
the astronauts, the monsters—
one bat-headed massive spider marionette,
one human-eating flytrap,
one hulk of an amoeba with its phagocytic slurping—
red as a laser pointer, red as brake lights.
Here: red, the color of pissed off
which, as the title says, the Martians are—
like us flipping the bird in traffic,
why they tell us, Fuck off, Earthmen,
which—at least for once—is what we do.


Ace Boggess is author of three books of poetry, most recently Ultra Deep Field (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017), and the novel A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea Publishing, 2016). His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, RATTLE, River Styx, North Dakota Quarterly and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.