Dolly Parton Ghazal
When I was a kid, I thought they made Hello, Dolly
about you! You dreamt the Hollywood sign read “Dolly-
wood,” and one day it did in East Tennessee! “Dolly’s
Imagination Library,” a $35 custom license plate Dolly
fans in the Volunteer State can purchase as of 2016. Dolly,
an avid reader, you gift books to TN children. Dolly,
you knew how books keep on giving, unlike Slinkys and dollies.
Each move I’d box my poetry volumes and roll them on a dolly
up the U-haul ramp. The best books last forever, as you must, Dolly--
bringing together cowboys and drag queens dressed as Dolly,
Appalachian Pride and LGBTQ Pride side by side. Dolly,
how many have chosen you as a write-in-candidate? Dolly
Parton for President! Jane Fonda as your running mate? Oh, Dolly,
how you sparkle, star-spangled, and wise as the Dalai
Lama. You have been my spiritual leader, Dolly.
I prayed to your tiny waist as I gobbled Hostess and Dolly
Madison cakes, to your big wigs as my hair thinned, Dolly.
Your authenticity fluttered fake eyelashes, Dolly,
and I wanted to see the world as you saw it. Dolly,
I feel the room swaying. Promise you’ll never go away, Dolly.
Denise Duhamel’s (she/her) most recent book of poetry is Second Story (Pittsburgh, 2021). Her other titles include Scald; Blowout; Ka-Ching!; Two and Two; Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems; The Star-Spangled Banner; and Kinky.She and Maureen Seaton have co-authored, most recently, CAPRICE (Collaborations: Collected, Uncollected, and New). She and Julie Marie Wade co-authored The Unrhymables: Collaborations in Prose. She is a Distinguished University Professor in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami.
Julie Marie Wade (she/her) teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami. She has published 12 collections of poetry and prose, most recently the book-length lyric essay, Just an Ordinary Woman Breathing (The Ohio State University Press, 2020) and the hybrid-forms chapbook, P*R*I*D*E (VCFA/Hunger Mountain, 2020). A winner of the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir, Julie makes her home in Dania Beach with her spouse Angie Griffin and their two cats.