This is the end/Beautiful friend/This is the end/My only friend/The end
Jim Morrison—The Doors
We called her Alice
because she could get
anything you want.
Names didn’t matter then—
her parents would not have recognized her, anyway.
Alice lived in that condemned house on Allen Street.
You climbed in through a window on the alley.
I tried to sleep there once,
but the walls moaned
as if the house were alive
All night, I could hear
the newly dead climb the crippled stairs.
A tape of Jim Morrison singing,
“this is the end,” played
so often in that house
you might come to believe he lived there.
And at night, in the dim light,
you had to watch where you stepped
because the trippers, the lovebirds and the junkies
sprawled any which way on the splintered floors.
Alice, a lapsed Catholic,
wore a St. Raphael medallion
and kept a drawer
full of multicolored meds.
I brought a friend there once—
bad trip. She was just a child, really.
Alice tried to bring her down
with barbies and baby talk,
but she never made it
all the way back.
The cops came in force in ’69.
Took a battering ram to the front door,
dragged the hippies out into the sun,
watched as they scattered
like a litter of feral cats.
We found the St. Raphael medallion
in the gutter across from the house,
but we never found Alice.
Steve Deutsch lives in State College, PA. His recent publications have or will appear in Algebra of Owls, The Blue Nib, Thimble Magazine, The Muddy River Poetry Review, Ghost City Review, Borfski Press, Streetlight Press, Gravel, Literary Heist, Nixes Mate Review, Third Wednesday, Misfit Magazine, Word Fountain, Eclectica Magazine, The Drabble, and The Ekphrastic Review. In 2017, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His Chapbook, Perhaps You Can, will be published next year by Kelsay Press.