NaPoWriMo 2023 — Day 3: “Stripped Scene”

3. Stripped Scene

addicts gripping hands – self inflicted
crescent moons carved into palms –
the anticipation of the next hit –
a throat punch in the center
of the desert

dream symbols hover above
blinking, bleeping money-
taking machines – hard-earned
habit makers – chance entices,
screams out for an empty pocket
as amber liquid swishes
from glasses to stomachs,
ends up swirling in porcelain

blood in the urine is the glowing
warning to slow down, but this city
numbs any fear of dying
or at least eliminates
the ability to care

they’re all in fire lodge pose
where every familiar talks backwards
and every savored slow-motion moment
brings a worrying grin to
powder encrusted lips

the sun is rising and
even in this windowless
pleasure trap, the local
veteran can still feel
its burn deep within
his dusty soul

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

Published by Jennifer Patino


20 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo 2023 — Day 3: “Stripped Scene”

      1. That’s funny. 🙂 Before I lived here I didn’t know it was possible to live here. Life brings you to interesting places sometimes. I’m ready to move on to the next place & will soon. Thanks so much for the encouragement. It is much appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Of course, my pleasure. Well, good luck. If i may be so bold, if you’re looking to lay down roots and grow; the Northeast is your friend. They aren’t bombarding us with chemical spills, crime is lowish, and there’s nothing close to LA except Connecticut, which shouldn’t be real.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Even before I glimpsed the comments I thought what a magnificently Lynchian vision this is. You are just the person to write the indelible nightmare that is Vegas. Receding blessedly soon from your rear-view but not likely forgotten.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is a city that only lives in film for me, being from the old colonial world. I cannot actually imagine anyone living there, but the same goes for places like LA or Connecticut (I blame those Gilmore Girls. That place just isn’t believable). I’m so pleased for you that you get to return to your home state!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 😀 Yes! It’s interesting how many places I’ve only known cinematically, giving each place a dreamlike or fantastical quality. Thank you! We’re playing a waiting game now about when we’ll be leaving, but everything is in motion. I just have to be patient until I find out the exact date.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I watched a Percy Jackson film with the boys and was thinking just the same, about it being surreal that lovely people like yourself live so close to those lights and activity (Percy gets lured into staying at a casino for much longer than he wanted). I was also listening to the Sheryl Crow song recently 😉 Anyway, fab poem again and so excited for your move!

    Liked by 2 people

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