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"They Once Met Young Elvis at the Dessau Dance Hall" by Jess Levens

He asked her out in junior high,

and they were inseparable

for seventy-one years—he loved

her thoughtfully and sincerely.

Dementia had set upon him

when cancer crushed her on Christmas.

He clawed against the end of life

like a cat over an ice bath.

In his final days, he forgot

she died—daily learning her fate

until he passed on Good Friday.

My poor Pop—that’s cold, Jesus.

Jess Levens lives with his wife, sons and dogs in Holliston, Massachusetts, where he draws inspiration from New England’s landscapes and history. He is the author of the chapbooks, A Break in the Spine (Alien Buddha Press, 2022) and Lurk & Other Undead Darlings (Roi Fainéant Press, 2022). His poetry has been featured in Fevers of the Mind, The Dillydoun Review and Prometheus Dreaming, among other literary journals. Jess is a Marine Corps veteran and Northeastern University alum. Follow Jess on Twitter @levensworks.

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