With a heavy
duffel bag in hand climbs
down the steps of a greyhound bus
from Memphis, his hair smoothed back.
His lips recoil from the cold of this spring
morning, his up-turned collar guards
his throat. The King hides in the crowd
of passengers waiting to gather their stuff
from the bowels of this silver tin whale:
I am Ishmael. I am Jonah. I am Elvis.
King Love, a transient ex-doctor from Egypt
is there to greet him, and Hart Crane lights
a cigarette, thinks of bridges. This is so final
a stop. Jimmy Dean is there, so is Lenny Bruce,
and when Elvis fixes his eyes on Marylin,
he wants to ask what has taken so long
so long for this last gathering before the music,
the laughter, the crying stops for good, and Elvis
sighs and a flock of grey pigeons scattershot
heavenward, fly up to the telephone wires
where news is coming in that everybody
knows that Tallahassee is where the dead gather,
This final destination for a bus called Greatness.