BiographyAi Elo is a contributing writer for the Indypendent News Paper, a worker's rights and queer justice activist, and a freelance photojournalist.
A Lesson on Scatting Under the Influence
for Amy Winehouse
Wrap your lips around something dirty and homeless.
Give the song a warm bed, a soft pillow, an excuse
to dream of better lovers
Strike marrow from the man in the last row,
don’t be easy when you hurl autumn at him, sing
the color of cracked leaves undressing branches,
cut hunger into the cicatrix of your throat,
take a sip of the guitarskin’s splinter
Remember what Nana says about girls like us,
we scoop half-empty beds from our stomachs,
curl up inside throbbing aftermornings with blind men
sniffing out the click in our heels. Remind me
what love does to a woman when its evening gown
ripples in the glass
Don’t gargle these notes clean, just spit contralto
venom through that wide gap, Amy. Smother heaven.
tangle the silence in your beehive bouffant,
tear the silk linens gathered around your breath,
when the smell of midnight thickens on the carpet
coalesce the words. Chase them. Until they scatter
out of your mouth.