A Poem By Tanya Olson

54 Prince

There exist 54 Goldilocks planets
54 planets not too hot
54 planets not too cold
54 planets where the living
is juuuuuust right
in that particular planetary zone

54 planets like Earth
but not Earth Similar
not the same 54 planets close
but different Different
except for Prince

Assless Pants Prince
High-Heel Boots Prince
Purple Rain Prince
Paisley Park Prince
I Would Die For You Prince
Ejaculating Guitar Prince
Jehovah’s Witness Prince
Needs A New Hip Prince
Wrote Slave On His Face Prince
Took An Unpronounceable Symbol For His Name Prince
Chka Chka Chka Ahh Prince

54 planets each with a Prince
and every Prince
exactly the same
as the one we know on Earth
54 lace 54 canes
54 planets 54 Prince

These 54 Prince swallow 54 worries
The 54 worries become 54 songs
54 songs made of 54 bars 54 bars
using 54 chords 54 downbeats
where they pick up the worries
54 off-beats to lay the worries down again
54 worried skank-beat Prince
birth 54 worrisome funk-drenched songs

Once an Earth year the Prince
gather around Lake Minnetonka
When the cherry moon smiles
they thrust under their heads
Under the water the Prince sick up
the old worries Under the water
worry sacks rise empty again

It takes a worried man the Prince say
to sing a worried song
while beneath the surface of Lake Minnetonka
the perch in the shoals
and the gobies in their holes
nibble at the worries
our skimmed from the top worries
scraped from the bottom worries
spooned from the middle good enough worries
There’s worries now the fish sing
but there won’t be worries long

Tanya Olson lives in Silver Spring, MD. Her first book, Boyishly, was published by YesYes Books in 2013.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.