They come, arid of spirit,
to worship their Elvis Redemptor.
His face has appeared in the rust
on a public bathroom’s tiles.
They bring their paper flowers,
to wreathe the holy picture,
some light candles on the drains,
some offer their teddy bears.
The pilgrims shuffle in lines,
waiting to plead with Elvis,
plead for water to cleanse them,
plead for Elvis to fill them.
They go away empty,
their nostrils pinched together
against the reek of stale urine
and the dust from their own dry hearts.