Beneath the Center of a Cosmic Sky

when one thinks
of Las Vegas
the Vegas
outside the strip

one thinks
of dusty mom and pop casinos
surrounded by empty spaces
and long
lonely boulevards
and dim street lamps

when one is inside Vegas
those boulevards
become thoroughfares
lined with homes and courtyards

a deep pile carpet
of red and pink
Spanish-tile rooftops


at night
one realizes
there is a noise in Vegas
the sound of the freeways
and laughter

voices calling out
in a joy of life

it is the raucous noise
of the inebriated
or simply the exhilaration
of an American affluence
in the middle of nowhere
is impossible to say


I stand in the quiet
of the small patio
and listen to the noise

it is a happy noise
the noise of life
and an occasional
squeal of surprise

not the rasping
of a win
on the casino floor
but the gleeful expression
of the thrill
of the unbridled night

[photo: ]

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