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Dixie Salazar

Crazy Little Thing…

"People do not know how dangerous love songs can be."

James Joyce

When his cousin twitched her hips,
ran pink lips over virgin
ice cream in time to piano
licks of "Great Balls of Fire"
Jerry found how dangerous
that sweet verb could be. Better used
as a noun, solid as
the rear axle of Elvis'
gold limo where he rocked
alone, whispering "love me
tender" into the capsule
of smoky glass, the same notes rising
and falling condensed on the
back windshield of a classic
Chevy, the thick breath meeting
cold glass, drawing a thin membrane
between the stars. She gasps, a
quick orgasmic torch, like a
breath of fire, or the flip of
a Zippo in the wax
museum where the hunk of
burning love glows under a
cool glaze of wax, unchained notes
smoulder like live embers in
the Graceland grate…, blue hot as
magma layered with ice.
Two lovers kiss in the
shivery walk-in of the
Mexican restaurant, neon
blinking "caliente y
rapido" he's melting in
her ruffled arms, dissolving
like a pelvis bone in the
boreal Memphis ground where
the feverish caretaker
prunes the King's roses. Coughing
up blood, he sucks his cigarette,
a cold, red rose lit against
the night. He whistles the broken
melody of Piaf's gypsy
who steals and kills for love, follows
his lover into the bowels
of earth, the tunnel of love,
filling like an aorta.
At ten, smoking in the mouth
of the abandoned fire escape
we divided love into
two spheres, the kind you like and
the kind you marry. Those who
are lucky get both, balance
on the brink of a cold "ring
of fire," ready to fall in
or dive in head first despite
every song rising from the flames.

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