The diminishing returns of 42 years, 220 days (a poem)

Watching an HBO documentary about Elvis this afternoon…

On March 23rd, 2020
Elvis will have been dead
for as long as he was alive

A few conspiracy theorists
and obscure poets
may make this observation—
otherwise, the day will most likely
go unnoticed by everyone else
who will instead be fixated
on the Georgia primaries
and what they may mean
for the president’s chances
of re-election

After that, Elvis’s temporal footprint
will continue to shrink
in fractions towards nothingness
until the sun finally burns out
leaving the Earth
a cold ball of rock—
the dead molecules
of “Heartbreak Hotel”
indistinguishable from any other
drifting through the universe

(18 August 2019)



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