Post-Apocalyptic Horror Show Ending in a Cher Song: Poetry by James Allen Hall

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Post-Apocalyptic Horror Show Ending in a Cher Song

In the zombie apocalypse, I’m betting the queers
outlive the heteros—we know what it is to survive
not just plague but terror, threat beading at back
of the neck. I’m exhuming the AIDS metaphor

buried in every zombie movie at the behest
of my boyfriend, and he’s arguing that zombies
don’t have sexuality, are ahistorical, nostalgia cut
down to its guttural essence

when the final image arrives: zombie trapped
in the all-American diner, lurching his suited body
again and again against the jukebox, the disembodied
voice pressing free: Cher belting out “I Found

Someone,” her bass trumpeting into the open unlit
freezers, the caves of thawed steaks sloughed out
like forgotten skins. Imagine, what the world wanted
all along was a little song, a way to remember us.

—James Allen Hall


James Allen Hall is the author of Now You’re the Enemy, which won awards from the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the Texas Institute of Letters. His poems appeared recently in Ploughshares, New England Review, A Public Space, and elsewhere. He directs the Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College.