Monday, May 16, 2016

Poem: I Imagine Meeting Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley - Modern Screen, June 1958


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.