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Whitney Mesa
by Kate Magill

After dark, when the sun at last relents,
we walk up to the top of the mesa,
watch the endless airplanes cruise overhead
and the Strip blink in the not-distant west.

Up here we're almost free‐no keyed-up crush
of drunken bodies, no staggering reek
of perfume
                         spilled booze
               and cash‐
just us, the inevitable neon,

and the sirens screaming bloody murder
as they careen through the turgid traffic.
All those bodies.
               Down below.
                          If we climb
high enough, it's almost like we're angels.

Keep following that hot black road, winding
through death, out the other side, past salt flats,
past the serrated peaks and dust-sown fields:
you know, we're practically in paradise.


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