All That Glitters by Julie Weiss

All That Glitters
             ─ for Prince

Six years on, & you still surface
in everything that shines.
A spoonful of honey drizzled on toast,

bits of crystal embedded in rocks
my children bring home, opening
their hands as if cupping hummingbird eggs,

or a miracle. A question glinting
off a mountaintop whose slopes dip
into the valley between then & now.

Could you have foreseen a generation
of rainbow children gone drab, faces
of the future you had envisioned

clouded behind masks? Nowadays,
I watch the world through a deluge
of uncertainty, clutching your music

as if every note were a lifeline.
To say I haven´t bathed in every rain
of sequins would be a lie. To say

every ruffle hasn’t billowed against
the silk cheek of my prayers would be
as blasphemous as blowing the wishes

off the shimmer of a shooting star.
How, in the early days of the pandemic
you fluttered among the wilted petals

of my gape like a golden-winged butterfly
or a guitar god, all strum, soul, & split,
defying me back into bloom. Remember?

That time I was slouched in my parked car
after a fearful trip to the supermarket,
wondering how a virus had grown

muscle enough to tilt an entire planet
off its orbit, wandering through
the winding halls of my tears

when you appeared, an apparition
of glitter & melody, twirling
at the top of your falsetto,

your voice the fire that would
guide me out of the day´s despair.
The streets felt peopled, then.

The potted plants on my windowsill
glow in the colors of dawn, & I know
you´re the one who has illuminated

today´s stage. That later, a million sequins
of sunlight will spill over me, scatter
across the earth like an eternal grand finale.


Julie Weiss (she/her) is the author of The Places We Empty, her debut chapbook published by Kelsay Books. She was a finalist in Alexandria Quarterly´s First Line Poetry Series, a finalist for The Magnolia Review´s Ink Award, and she was shortlisted for Kissing Dynamite´s 2021 Microchap Series. A two-time Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, her recent work appears in Orange Blossom Review, Minyan Magazine, Sheila-Na-Gig, and others. Originally from California, she lives in Spain with her wife and two young children.

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