POETRY

L.V. Women
by Lisa Allender

The Women wear their hair
like a blonde ballet
trained to perform
each golden strand
sun-bleached and
chemical-precision,
in perfect position.

The women wear their skin
unnaturally tight
dry and porous
like the concrete surrounds,
pneumatic-pillow breasts
under their gowns.

The women wear their men
on their arms
never hand-in-hand,
old enough to be their fathers 

The men
whose tanned, wrinkled hands
perch like brown birds
on the mechanical devices,
hungry,
they scavenge
seek sustenance
in this bright space
painted sky
clouds like candy
hung too low
the birds scatter
over tables,
over currency.
Some of it:
cash
some of it:
women,
skirted in anonymity
eyes uplifted
in a dark beg,
a not-too-solemn promise
to behave
like their blond strands
to be a medal
for the men
who leave this,
the casino,
otherwise
empty-handed.

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