Always revising, this one has seen a few tweaks.

Drowning in The Squonk's Tears

Changing buses at Flamingo and Decatur,
a Sister ogles my comped leather jacket,
while braceros mill about across the street,
awaiting any drive-by job offer.

This is the Vegas never seen from the Strip;
a town of cheap gifts and off-the-books labor,
where paychecks disappear in Dollar Loan Centers,
every cranny packing a local's casino.

A hundred taxis queue outside the Palms,
like pilot fish seeking ectoparasites upon a shark.
Inside the thousand dollar escorts hustle
overextended gamblers busting hard 16's at the tables.

I told the Sister I'd won the jacket. Impressing
her that anyone would ever be a winner,
watched her intentionally cross the street
to invite a bracero out to breakfast.

The 103 bus downtown ran late.
Leaving my losing parlay tickets on the bus,
I walk through the parking lot of despair,
the casino's glass doors awaiting me.

Poetry by Brian Oarr
Read 889 times
Written on 2013-12-24 at 10:49

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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Very noir, Brian. Nicely done. My mother lives in Henderson, so I've been to the city often enough to know the parts you're describing. They're not too glossy. I'm guessing that you're going into the casino to work.

I don't get the references, but I really like the poem and the writing, and I do get the gist. Well done.