Kellam Ayres


When you tour Graceland with a plastic bag full of pills
in your left pocket, you will understand the irony.
You will touch them through your pants, small comfort,
waiting in line for two hours before boarding

a bus to the mansion. You’ll wear a headset,
the audio kicking in when you enter
the heavy gates. An hour into the tour
you will phone the man you love and tell him

to fuck off, and then you will be alone
in Elvis’s basement, looking at yourself
in the mirrored fireplace, thinking
that if Elvis were still alive you would ask

his chef to make a grilled peanut butter
and banana sandwich, and that you would watch
football on one of Elvis’s three TVs.
The tour will end in the memorial garden.

Someone will kneel and say a prayer.
Someone will place a small flag on his grave.
You will make an offering as well,
taking a yellow, oval-shaped pill

from your pocket and swallowing it dry.
It will seem appropriate at the time
but, like so many things, is not.
Like so many things in life, it is not.