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.
It continues to snow dust.
The sun comes out of the closet.
Jays enter under the door
jumping over a line of air.
Maybe it was just the light,
cracked somewhere, leaked out,
lucky—I thought you shifted away
in voice, my mouth to hear,
My senses are a cushion, and yet this horror appears to taste my morrow. My alarms are useless because they are on fire with the rest of my home.
Be honest now—
just for a minute; I cried.
I had him locked out—
a perfectly good wish.
Privately, for over a year now you drove off and left me.
The place cooled down beaming and bright—
put my name on a silencer (it’s not the end of the world).
In the mirror, the wooden bust of Christ Nicodemus carved
and Joseph commended to the sea, stares out for reflection.
Only a true spell
of fittingly glamorous phenomena
repaired sunstruck imagination—
Too big for your body, the whale of a bed will go on sale; also the dresser, its
three-linked mirrors tall as sails.
The Nazis are back in town.
No, I know. They never, ever left.