Interior Image

Ai Elo

Years: 2011


Ai 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.