Vegas, Baby

This poem won Editor's Choice in the 2013 2-Day Poem Contest

Debating between trading vows at Goratorium, where jaded gargoyles

guard the procession, or a 24-hour drive-thru wedding; Eros

missing in action.

 

To wear remnants of an old wedding dress, death colouring my

cheeks, or a white tank top over shorts, even though my legs will stick

to the vinyl? A hall

 

replete with vampires who dangle from Goth ceilings (lighting and a trick

trapeze) to bear witness to the ceremony? Or pull the Chevy up to the

chapel window—rapid-fire gambit

 

of a tattered JP hoping you’ll buy his shtick so he can plug another

dollar into the slot machine? Have a coke and a slice of pizza,

they’re included in the price. Every

 

intimation of love rank with onion and green pepper.

 

Third option? The hotel offering a gun-toting theme. Not that I relish the

idea of shooting my lover, at least not yet. But a little target practice couldn’t

hurt. We’ll record the whole thing and post it online

 

being careful to remove autocorrect from our texts or ‘getting hitched’

might translate to ‘accidental maiming’.

 

Definitely won’t go for the rococo-styled ’80s—big hair, polyester pants,

blue eye shadow. Some might say those were the last marriages to have a

shelf-life; here, they offer weddings

 

with 3-day expirations. 

 

Don’t forget the bouquet of neon chrysanthemums to be borrowed

from the 12:25 couple, or should I pre-order a bridal arrangement

of dead roses, black feathers, red

 

satin? Whatever we choose, we’ll have to pick our way through placard-bearing

zealots wielding sententious messages, packing guns under plaid dresses. After 

the platitudes we’ll take a drive

 

in the desert (the land sweating with its own demise) through tequila-drenched

heat waves, dodging scrubby-toothed tumbleweed and Burning Man ceremonies. 

My only fear, being caught in the bob and sway of a mirage:

 

                            grandparents, holding hands after the war

                            fugitive circus elephants, wandering lost

                                         a newborn, crying.

Published online June 28 2013.

Cristy loves to enter contests, especially ones with a time limit. She has two published YA novels with Orca Books (Benched and Living Rough). She entered a chapbook of poetry in the first Coffee Shop Author contest and won honourable mention. She hosts open mic at the Pelican Rouge (White Rock) and continues to be involved in community literary projects.

This poem was a winner in CV2’s annual 2-Day Poem Contest. Every April, CV2 challenges players to create a new original poem that uses all 10 words of our choosing. It’s poetry under pressure for prizes, publication, and personal bests. Learn how to sign up for the next 2-Day Poem Contest.


The Open Issue cover image

This piece was published in ‘The Open Issue,’ the Fall 2013 issue of CV2.

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