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.