A land this stark won’t stand too many words,
just “gold” and “silver” for the polished cars,
Sevilles and Continentals outside bars
where flashing neon twists and splits in thirds

on hoods and trunk seams, polished ladies, herds
of them among the slots, the scattered stars
around the green felt tables.  Nothing scars
them ever, you’d believe, these golden birds.

Or “gray turning to yellow” for the stubbled land
beyond, broad, salty basins under sky
so vast and hopeless tumbleweed and sage

won’t put down roots until like calloused hands
the Rubies twist into a landscape high
above that riddle, too tough to tame or cage.

 

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