The old farmhouse is falling to ruin. A screen door dangling by a hinge. Slabs of plaster and lathe in the tub. Swallows swooping up the staircase, chittering from mud-baked igloos. Blue sky yawning from the bedroom ceiling.
But down in the kitchen, next to the crater where the sink used to be, Elvis croons on, undeterred, standing next to a discarded drain stopper and a jar of ancient molasses, his voice smoky yet smooth, brown, sweet.
Dust accumulates. From dust to dust. Eventually even a legend must drift down, taking his follies with him: the bellbottom trousers and greased hair, the patent shoes and cape. We all take this turn, becoming outdated as the canned preserves in the basement cellar. Pickles yellowing in hazy jars. Pickles that might still be crisp, though no one will know.
For a little while longer, though, there is that low velvety voice in the kitchen: Love me tender, love me sweet . . .
Elvis closes his eyes, but he croons on—never let me go.