POETRY
Zika and Loose Change
Beth Gordon

It’s easy to forget how weird Elvis was, sitting in the Atlanta airport on a Sunday morning, Viva
Las Vegas
on every screen, 

lined up at the bar with fellow travelers recently notified that alcohol is not for sale until 12:30 this afternoon. It’s easy to forget 

his movies, not enough for him to pilfer dance moves from his faceless neighbors, not enough that fathers turned the television 

off to protect the eyes of suddenly lustful daughters, he wanted Hollywood fame, a statue of a golden man to sit on his trophy shelf.  

It’s easy to ignore Zika warnings posted on every wall except the mirrored one in which we stare at our thirsty reflections, we are not 

considering mosquitos, children born with inadequate skulls, our own childhoods, keeping smallpox vaccine scabs dry while older 

siblings splashed in muddy lakes, flaunted their freedom from forgotten diseases.  It’s easy to forget we admitted to drinking before 

the crash, easy to forget that each one of us, sitting on a barstool guarding our luggage, fell in love with the wrong person, lost

our way when they left with our jar of change, didn’t leave us enough for the parking meter or gumball machine.  It’s easy to forget  

the Easter morning collection plate as we turn our pockets inside out to find mini-bar bottles of vodka for our virgin Bloody Marys.


Beth Gordon is a poet who has been landlocked in St. Louis, Missouri for 16 years. Her work has recently appeared or will be appearing soon in Verity La, Calamus Journal, Five:2:One, Slink Chunk Press, Barzakh, Into the Void, Quail Bell, and others.