Prosciutto, Pears, and Roy Orbison

I called Roy Orbison and he came.
What do you do with an Orbison at your doorstep?

He leaves his guitar in the foyer
beside rain boots. He knows this winter

I listened to ‘Blue Bayou’ every drive home.
I can’t remember the difference

between omnipotent and omniscient,
but if you’re one, I think you’re the other.

I should’ve researched his favorite foods.
‘Do you like prosciutto?’

He’s straight from that Mark Strand poem:
The man in black walks toward me, rings on each finger.

It was a summer night.
His hands were stars, ignoring

me and my tears, swinging
sultry like chandeliers.

What if Roy Orbison leaves me in his black wake?
I tell him, ‘Last summer at the pool,

I stood in the shallow end and listened.
Water licked my hips. I summoned frogs and fishing boats.’

I roll the deli meat.
‘Here we are,’ he says.

‘How sad were you when you wrote that song?’
‘Sad enough,’ he takes a pear, a knife,

slices and fans the fruit.
‘But not too sad,’ he adds.

‘Too sad and I would’ve gone quiet.
Listened to somebody who was sad enough.’

Quinn White is an MFA poetry candidate at Virginia Tech. Her work has appeared in Hot Metal Bridge, The Straddler, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, A Bad Penny Review, and is forthcoming in The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review and Bayou Magazine.

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