Tammy Robacker

HOSPITAL PARTY

Amazing Graceland, in the ICU room
where Elvis shakes. Still a devil in all-white
sheets, now he croons opiated gospels.

Church of the aging patriarchy,
an austere place family gathers
to celebrate a legend. My dad

used to dance like Presley and slicked
his black hair back tight on the sides.
Wet with sweat and limp with gray,

now his tendrils flop—After the chemo craze.
They’ve tubed his fluids and criss-crossed
lines around the room. Subdued streamers

in bile and sputum. The monitors knell
bell tones and blip green screens, keeping
final time on his rhythm and hymns.

                                    
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