Julie Weiss 1 Poem

HOW YOU SAVED MY LIFE

                            For Prince

You probably don´t realize

the number of times you´ve saved my life.

By save I mean from certain death,

a dark road slithering through the mountains

as if fleeing a predator, sleep trampling

my eyelids, hands on the steering wheel

more shadow than substance. As my car rounded

a curve, you crossed the bridge of Let´s Go Crazy,

trilling me out of slumber, and my eyes opened

to an image of you, ruffled, luminous as a thousand

moons, grooving across my windshield, striking

your guitar like some mythical god of lightening.

By save I mean from heartbreak, that moment when

you shut your eyes, deluged; when your heart skids off

a cliff, chipping as it ricochets between bones. 

You knew all about love and loss, penned lyrics

so raw, when you undressed them before the world

your scars throbbed as if slashed across my own skin.

When You Were Mine thundering out of a nightclub

as the door opened, my longtime lover on the threshold,

kissing another woman. It wasn´t the first time

the street had been pulled from under my feet

but your words steadied me, like a hand pressed gently

against my back. Like a bear hug. You got

why I spiraled headlong into an impossible love

despite the futility, despite the crash and burn.

By save I mean from despair. Every night,

death spattered across the six o´clock news.

Senseless wars stirred by trigger-happy tyrants,

little bodies blown asunder. Bodies splayed

on blood-stained pavement while the bullets

of a nation spill out of Armani pockets.

Poverty a death sentence, a free ride for disease.

Is it worth it? you wonder, your voice trembling

as earth capsizes under the weight of blood money,

deadly as acid rain. You sing rage out of your heart,

my flames blazing in your art. When it´s all I can do

to contain my howl in a forsaken wasteland

I blast your music; I conjure your spirit

and hum along, sure that my soul will be all right.

About the contributor

Julie Weiss found her way back to poetry in 2018 after slipping into a nearly two-decade creative void. In 2020, she was a finalist in Alexandria Quarterly´s first line poetry contest series. Her poems appear in Random Sample Review (Best of the Net Nomination, 2019), ArLiJo, and Sky Island Journal, among others, as well as in a handful of anthologies. She works as a telephone English teacher in Spain, where she lives with her wife and two young children.

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