Fast Food for Elvis
Every inch a hound dog,
Shaking his hips
Through army days.
Then, a lonesome night,
He pastes tinfoil on the windows
And dreams -
Priscilla plays in the garden,
Waiting to grow up.
He strums a guitar,
Strains his neck
To see a moon,
A blue moon,
Shades and lightens.
A song for Gladys
Plays in the background,
"That's When Your Heartaches Begin".
He'd record it twice.
Then like a party balloon,
All glitter and gloss,
And it is the same with love. Yes.
You will never sleep again
As the bell rings over and over
And they pawn your bed.
The same with love. It means
You might never eat again
When you are trapped in the desert
With not a leaf, a berry, a raindrop -
Yes, with love. And where are you,
Twisted, without pride,
When they have pulled marrow
From your spine, love, the same,
As if you have lain down in the mud
And taken her foot in your face.
Yes. It is the same with love,
The little warning sign that sparks
No alert, brings no rescue.
You might rush up a dozen flights
To find me. I won't be there
And it is the same with love. It
Can't be found, it is not a toy,
You can't package it, toss and
Strain it with spices, curry it.
It takes favour and flavour
To pepper a meal, shake it up.
It is the same with love.
By the time I get to Marilyn,
there is a soap-opera of sound
flashing by my unshielded eyes -
a panic, cars scraping their brakes.
Marilyn lies in her
perfumed sheets, sparse hair on her thigh,
body cooling like a newly-set jelly,
her hair like a white meringue.
I hand the crew iced tea, their
breath mingling with the drizzle.
As they chat,
baby birds with piercing eyes,
I move the bottle away,
punch up the pillows,
try to close her eyes.
(c) 2003 Louise Cole