Daring to Pretend
At the slack and blubbery end,
Elvis could no longer shake it.
It was dumb sleep, harsh daylight
outside, curtains drawn, stone-blue pills,
the arms of a couple of local girls
across his soft, barely rising and falling
gluttony-ruined chest. The girls
were left awake as The King
dreamed schoolyards and Jesus hymns.
I'm gonna be his next pretty wife,
one girl would say to the other.
They'd pillow fight over the top
of a girdled Jailhouse Rock belly.
The King would gasp for breath,
a broken pillow's goose feathers
tickling his nostrils and plump lips.
One of the girls would kiss him,
brag, His eyes glaze-over at the lovely
sight of my smile, then tap the diaper
changed every eight hours by men
with gold TCB medallions and rings.
The last girl awake knew what to say,
what to pity-please into his ear,
Oh, daddy, I'll be yours forever.