Vegas

by
March 2020, no. 419

Vegas

by
March 2020, no. 419

Yes, death was a good career move for Mr Elvis
Presley, but for those of us yet to leave the building,
cancer offers a lifeline, bringing family fame,
at least, and a careering mind, especially during
the long night-watch, when what happened in Vegas
comes home from Vegas, as always, and takes roost
in the witness coop, fluffing its lurid ostrich feathers
like a goose, and the self sits in judgement of itself
and rules against it, on every count, offering neither
amnesty nor amnesia, at least for the natural term
of your jellied memory, and you realise yours
is no minority opinion of yourself, when even the bed,
whose support you took for granted, but which always
seemed to like you, tosses you out, and you find
a safe seat next to a misty-eyed pot of tea, and set down
words such as these, in big print so you can read them
in the morning, although soon enough your goose quill
begins to whisper across the paper, as if thoughts
brewed so long, in darkness, needed no second thinking,
spilling out complete, like music, like words dusted
with a little night magic, a sparkle of dandruff shaken
from the shoulders of Mr Amadeus Mozart himself,
who wrote notes with this same smooth single-draft ease,  
and would have loved Vegas, and you feel less absolved
than cured, all over again, and even your bed
takes you back, conditionally, and you sleep till dawn,
when you remember that Mr Mozart has also long left
the building, cut down mid-career, and that cancer
is not just another job, like dying, but a way of life.

From the New Issue

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