The Road to Lucky Road

by April Salzano

is lined with illusion. False hope
of white lines to guide travel, all the way
to Vegas and back, middle of sand dunes,
rolling tumbleweed. Casinos shone
like every mirage that never was.
We played our quarters back in the day
when quarters were real, not hypothetical
money, credits on a piece of paper.
And when we won, which we didn’t
except in small sums, those real quarters
spilled into a plastic bucket wedged
between tray and slot while we danced
a jig—or what we always imagined
to be a jig. Small victories on what was not
our honeymoon, though I keep misremembering
it as such. This was years later—
somewhere in the middle of our marriage sandwich,
bread of kids and divorce, slices between which
our love was meat, before it went rancid,
attracting flies and bad karma, Xanax
and whores. We shot our load in a couple
flashing casinos and came home, empty
handed, thirsty desert behind us, still
beautifully oblivious to the detours ahead.

Recent Pushcart nominee April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband and two sons. She recently finished her first collection of poetry and is working on a memoir on raising a child with autism. Her work has appeared in journals such as Poetry Salzburg, Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Montucky Review, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle. The author also serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press.