Freeze the home movie; it’s 1968 in Graceland’s side yard, and he’s about to leap between heaven and Memphis, the J. C Penney plaid trunks girdling the boylike ungainliness of a diver self-taught at best. He knows he’s got nothing on the perfect jackknife new-mom Priscilla performed a minute ago. How fine the world was before the Comeback Tour took its toll, how sanguine even the peskiest friend with an 8mm camera— as well-meaning as Tennessee. As if there were no Tet, no Kennedys, no other King to stride to his balcony, this royalty seems doubt-free and meant for its own Camelot. All languid big hair and sunlight in the poolside chaise lounge, Priscilla smiles, watching him in a rare moment when his cocksureness seems to have failed him— no coiffed snarl in sunglasses this time. A plowboy nearing the creek, he has slue-footed down the board and sprung head ass feet sprawl first into an apogee frozen in the lens, mid flail, gravity postponed forever.
Randy Blythe lives in north Alabama. His first full-length collection of poetry was published in 2014 by FutureCycle Press. His poems have appeared recently in Aji, Cottonwood, Alexandria Quarterly, Concho River Review, and Pleiades.