Monday, June 17, 2019



Stop. I need to catch my breath. I caught you
stealing looks at me when you courted me
in the lobby of the Venetian. Vegas buzzed,
clanged, and twirled for us, shooting up
the casino sky with possibilities and lust. You
swayed me to take a midnight drive, to be-
come my 20-year-old lover, much like Juliette’s.
Yes, I wanted you, the way I want vanilla
ice cream to melt down the skin between
finger and thumb. You’re sticky and cool. The heat
of the boulevard covered us in the backseat,
as we licked the dirty desert clean. You took me

to the edge -
to the outskirts of town, night, flesh. There

I saw the hammer-smashed topaz tears, confetti
glass glittering the horizon with the promise of
a night with my Belagio boy. With you, I was seventeen
again – maybe twenty – when life was summer
all year long. The sky exploded above us
with independence. You touched my face, knew
I felt invincible when you breathed my name. Don’t
stop. I want to remember how the night slipped
through each lyric, pulse, window, tear, our fear
we would fall in love by morning. The sweet
promise living in the beautiful lips of the wind,
the moment we kissed Nevada. Good bye

to our jackpot hearts.

David-Matthew Barnes

This poem is featured in the collection Love and Detours.

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