Driving to Pittsburgh (Goddammit Elton)

Driving to Pittsburgh to bury the body
of my best friend’s mother, I
think about life and the
circle, thanks Disney station,
thanks rental car. The Circle of
Life looks like a circle but isn’t,
it’s a spiral, thanks to Time,
like metal rings running down
the side of a notebook, which
makes me think of how JC,
in love with S, created
a bouquet out of ragged edges
collected from the entire
class. She loved it, she loved him,
we loved them. Then
nothing. He wound up
marrying a woman who
ran off with his cousin.
You guys take whatever you want.
Okay, good, we want the fridge
and the bed. And now I
see them all on Facebook,
liking each others’ kids
and grandkids, including
JC and S, who seem
to be rooting for each
other, which I guess
is a circle of some kind, but
not one that’s neat and not
one that’s whole.
Goddammit Elton,
you filled it with lies,
and we’re left holding
ragged fake flowers,
looking for a love that’s
not going to come around,
ever, for anyone, again.



Jacke Wilson is a graduate of the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan, where he received an M.F.A. in creative writing and won a Hopwood Award. Currently he lives and works in the Washington D.C. area, where he hosts a podcast called The History of Literature. This is his first published poem.



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