Random Poem

Portrait of Alice with Elvis

Stephanie Bolster

Queen and King, they rule side by side

in golden thrones above the clouds.

Her giggle and wide eyes remind him

of his first young wife, and his twang

never ceases to thrill her, so different

from the prim accents of men she’s known.

 

She sings for him, “Hound Dog”

and “Heartbreak Hotel,” and he turns

the Mock Turtle’s song of beautiful soup

campier with each performance, hip-twists

till her eyes stream and she melts with laughter.

 

Sometimes they leave their airy realm

to share a strawberry shake at Burger King

in Memphis, visit the Tate Gallery in London

solemnly to ponder the Lady of Shalott

alone and adrift in her rowboat.

 

In rare arguments over fame, he cites

the Churches of Elvis, the Vegas tributes,

while she mentions the Alice shop in Oxford,

the Alice ride at Disneyland. He says more books

have been written about him, but she insists hers

are of higher calibre, her words are quoted

much more often than his. He calls up wax figures,

she teapots and tarot cards. Both delight

in their limited edition collector’s plates.

 

For dinner they fry chicken, make tea and scones,

tarts filled with peanut butter.

He runs her a lavender bubble bath,

washes her hair, greases his own.

 

She lays her head against his chest

during late night TV, murmurs of the man

who gave her fame, and he of the woman for whom

he won his. She wants to sway

to the beat of his heart in her ear, slow

as “Are You Lonesome Tonight.” In sleep

their tear-blotched faces could be anyone’s.