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.