It was at the Queenvention
summer of '91
when I met the old ladies
with the pasty photo albums
old 45s pressed binders
videotapes stuffing their purses.
We sat in hotel rooms
off the northeast extension
and drank Pennsylvania
wine, admired Freddie Mercury
and Brian in the lights
of their hometowns, smelled
Roger's real tiger skin trousers.
What we didn't know.
A hotel caterer grabs me
in the video room, she shakes me,
really, and asks What in God's name
is this?
I ask back: Haven't you heard
crazy little thing called love? Oh, yeah,
she says. They still around?
I pull her aside
to make sure the Russians
don't hear her. We look
at the new pictures, the ones
with the thin body draped
with thick sweatshirts.
Will they ever tour again?
asks one. And I was always
of the consoling mind,
defining God by what he doesn't do.
His impotence is His mercy,
and so forth. This, however,
didn't wash with the ladies
of the Holiday Inn. He's just
getting skinny, is all.

We danced that night,
haunted by the snapshots,
we hugged, huddled
round the boombox
for the message from London.
How they wished
they all could be there.
The proud ladies and I retire.


Issue Two
Table of Contents