It was a strange dream,
Odd and disjointed,
Nothing new for the painters of night graffiti.
I was walking down an old street in the deep South,
Walking up to a seemingly abandoned ruin.
Oddly, it was a place I knew by deja vu.
An enormous concrete pyramid,
Overgrown with vines and ivy,
Shaded dark at night,
Imposing and immensely heavy.
The entrance was under the light pool of a lonely old street lamp,
The kind that resembles a gaslight.
Just as I was about to walk up to the door,
A long black limosine pulled up,
Disgorging three very unexpected spectres in the flesh.
Elvis was in the middle,
An old man in a suit first with a key,
A beautiful woman followed.
All of them were dressed in fine black clothes, looking sharp and purposeful.
Elvis glanced and me, said "Hello, Dan" in a kind but lofty and dismissive voice,
Leaving me acknowledged,
Yet neither declined nor encouraged.
I followed the trio into the temple of night,
A place oddly mixed with finely-appointed rooms and crumbling bare-concrete empty spaces.
In the empty rooms were crumbling statues,
Cheap concrete replicas from the look of it,
Chipped and barely standing in places.
There were high ledges about the perimeter of these empty places,
A black cat seemingly trapped on one high ledge,
I climbed a statue that threatened to topple at every move,
Rescued the ungrateful beast,
Which promptly dashed away into unseen corners.
Finally I made my way into a softly lit room,
And the three spirits in flesh were there lounging,
About some unearthly business I never learned of.
The place was carpeted finely,
Rich tapestries all about,
Clearly that had not been seen by human eyes in at least a decade,
Elvis glanced at me briefly,
A glimmer of momentary observance with no depth,
As if I were a distant acquaintance,
And I sat in a chair nearby,
Whatever they were conversing,
It was not audible to me,
Not for my ears clearly.
Elvis stood up as they were leaving,
Stepped over and silently handed me a lamp that no longer worked,
Having its form but robbed of its function.
I briefly elated,
Thinking the King had given me some odd gift,
For attached to the bottom was a tag,
A note with a hand-scrawled name,
"Servant, a service to the King,"
I took it in stride,
A deliveryman for a musical nightshade,
And opened my eyes to yawn.
By: Daniel A. Stafford