By Pamela Murray WInters
From Fall 2017
Elvis is a mess. That cowlick won’t stay down. Pimples dot his neck. His hair glints of the gold he was born with. Next year he’ll dye it black; someone decides it’ll photograph better. Here in 1956, he’s learning the poses: moodily shirtless in bed, kissing a girl in a dim hallway, seated at an upright, fingers brushing the keys. It’s so we can see the secret birth, the king-to-be. Whence came that beanstalk vision: the skill of some photographer, the colonel’s gin-eye? Even if ‘56 is the last time he’ll wear his own light hair, and shop in record stores alone and slow-dance with his high school girl, normal’s gone with the Tupelo shotgun shack, gone with Jesse, the dead twin. Normal was some night Mama told him that hair’s too long, and wash that face, and grow up.