Monday, May 16, 2016
Poem: I Imagine Meeting Elvis Presley
I Imagine Meeting Elvis Presley
I imagine meeting Elvis Presley on a street corner
in Binghamton, Elvis with his gyrating hips and his sexy
voice, who blasted out of my boyfriend’s car radio
when we were 17. One night while driving back
from a date he asked, “Why did you French kiss Bill?”
I said “What,” the way I do now although I spent $6,000
on hearing aids that sometimes don’t work. He repeated
his question and I asked, “What’s French kissing?” and he told
me. “Ugh! Is that what he was doing? He danced
with me at the party and he stuck his tongue in my mouth.
It was disgusting. I thought he was crazy.” I said.
Finally, Jimmy believed me and we kissed for hours parked
in the woods on William Paterson College campus, but I never
felt anything—not a single spark of electricity between us,
though he took me home to have dinner with his parents
and pretended we were “in love.” He tried to tell me
that he liked going to gay clubs, asked if I wanted to go
with him. I didn’t understand what he was trying to tell me.
We broke up.
Later, he wrote to me from San Francisco and said
he was gay. Some part of me had known it all along,
all those hours parked in the woods or at Garret Mountain
lookout, those hours when he kissed me until my lips were
raw and I felt nothing, nothing at all, and those interminable
dinners at his parents, me inarticulate and shy, and Jimmy
pretending that he was what his critical father wanted
him to be, and that he could live his life with me
to make his father happy, while those hours necking
must have made him feel like he was kissing someone
as appealing to him as a frog or a stone.
Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com. Her latest publication is the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets.