The Cinderella Game
She's sweaty, dizzy on a pink bed
after another day of door-to-door
make-up sales to rumor-defiled women.
It's a Motel 6: stand-up shower
with a fatigue bench, free shampoo.
Put your ear to the hard ground.
In some spots you'll hear the bubbling
Amargosa River running down below.
Pioneer's now a ghost town.
Once it had three newspapers,
three opera houses, seven churches,
twelve brothels. Pioneer lasted one year.
No clothes, no embarrassment, she opens
the door, no man's brown-eyed blonde
in a white Mustang. Lonesome Jack,
druggy-thin neck of a rock star,
a quarter mile south of plain drunk,
found a black plastic bag filled
with lukewarm burgers in a dumpster.
Suicide is a daydream embellishment.
* This poem is included in a 2010 Red Shuttleworth poetry chapbook, Drug Store Vaquero (Phoenix: The Basement).