When she could no longer
live at home, Juanita
gave it to me with a stack
of records inside, through which
I could see my mother’s family
passing in time, the space
from Guy Lombardo to
Sergeant Pepper’s like a bridge
over the history of the world.
She died on the anniversary
of when Elvis did too. Last year
I was in Memphis when it came.
I always pictured Beale Street
the way Miles Davis plays it
but it was all beer and ghosts,
the king’s death celebrated
by people fighting in a garden,
two drunk teenagers pissing on a wall
blocking a bronze plaque
that holds the names of famous men.