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Wednesday, March 10, 2010


by Millicent Borges Accardi

Black widow spiders
Abound in the wet darkness

Under Las Vegas
The unemployed and the addicted

Run schemes during the day light.
A credit hustle, picking up slot machine

Credits and found chips to buy food.
Their beds held just above the impending

Flash floods.  The ever-present damp cement,
A cool testament that they are not just camping out.

Plastic milk crates hold books and a special
Rigged shower made from a water dispenser

Echo this temporary life. Temporary, like Vegas itself.
Lucky some days, not so lucky other days.

Amid the gold and glitter, the city seems
To take more than it gives, everywhere are signs

Of impermanence, everyone here is a visitor of sorts
There are no natives, no real locals. Ever the tanned

Well-seasoned cocktail waitresses came from somewhere
Else. A good storm could flood the tunnels, caving into a roaring

River in a matter of seconds with rain.  Or, a roll of the dice
Could give the 700 underground residents another twenty years.

Millicent Borges Accardi is of Portuguese-American ancestry.  She has received poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the arts (NEA), the California Arts Council, the Barbara Deming Foundation(Money for Women), Jentel, and the Corporation of Yaddo.  Her work has appeared in over 50 literary publications including Nimrod, Tampa Review, New Letters and Wallace Stevens Journal as well as in Boomer Girls (Iowa Press) anthology.  She’s been a writer in residence at Yaddo, Jentel , Vermont Studio Center, Fundación Valparaíso in Mojacar, Spain and Milkwood in Cesky Krumlov, CZ.