karla keffer

I lost my virginity at the Led Zeppelin Laser Light Show.
Seven and a half minutes in heaven, and it was all
downhill from there. Bonzo went to Bitburg in a 747
hijacked by Jimmy Swaggart, and came back caked
in blow, singing “Material Girl” in a whiny falsetto.
Uncle Stephen turned up at Christmas dinner with purple
craters on his tongue, and got banished to the kids’ table
with the rest of Queer Nation. Mom and Dad built a
backyard bonfire out of Ouija boards, dog-eared Hustlers,
my Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Handbook, and
had the ashes interred in the Chernobyl sarcophagus.
They’re still there, smoldering, giving off 10,000 roentgens
per hour. Someday I’ll fly there in hazmat gear
and lay a wreath at its feet, a reconciliation gesture. I’ll
play “Stairway to Heaven” backwards on the mandolin
and weep for long-lost uncles eroding in hospices,
teenage detritus, has-beens that never were.


Karla Keffer is in her third year of a Ph.D. program in creative writing/fiction at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her poems and fiction have been published in Smartish Pace, Moon City Review, and Rappahanock Review. She is also the creator of the perzine The Real Ramona and the forthcoming semiautobiographical comic Charm City. Karla lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.