[36] Las Vegas Boulevard, Sarah Butchin

The lights of the city sparked something in me
Something I didn’t expect but never feared
Dinners at outdoor cafes
Neon streaks of energy reflected in starry eyes
We threw our heads back when we laughed
So far that our necks hurt
But we pretended we didn’t look up to anyone
When we wanted to be like everyone
Beautifully broken people searching for something solid
Climbing a ladder with splintered rungs
Ripping soft beds of blistered feet
A world so few understood, while even less tried
Transactional sex
Paid for passion
Genuine in too many ways
Dissipated hopes in a deluge of fragile ego
Who thought we could be better?
Popping champagne to assuage the pain
A celebration of secrets that leaked when they needed to
Not a care in the world, except all of them
Perception as the pertinent placater
Make them believe what they see and they’ll never need further proof
Make them believe and they’ll buy into the lifestyle
Too poor to afford what we had
Too scared to admit business was as brittle as the bones we broke straining to be better
Sequins, sparkles, and strides down the packed street
We owned the night
But we owed everything
Make us pay

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