Nevadan to Nevadan

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Of the Vegas Dead

“The Old Mormon Fort,
dead now, was born
of adobe. Provisional,
the sticks, straw, and mud…”
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-Ryan Garth Mitchell

Dear Water

“Dear Water,
Please come and never go,
Your presence brings us highs and little lows.
They say Nevada is devoid of water,
To that I say how do we exist?”
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-Chase Murdock

I’m Writing You On My Drive Home

“I was born in a neon city —
Learned, grew, and loved there.
And then I moved to another
The only other in my state,
For cheap tuition and a change of pace.
It’s neon nonetheless.”
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-Ashley Uelmen

Five Letters to My Never-to-be Daughter with a Spell Inside

“I. A Father’s Right, I Already Know the Desert (This Kind of Family)

When your grandfather said, his face picked clean
of any humor, I’ve already found the place for your grave
if you hurt her, I simply shook his hand”
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-Lindsay Wilson

About A Couple Hours

“The pine cones rest like hand grenades
as the same couple feed the same ducks
except the large white one,
now missing in action.”
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-Scott F. Gandert

Vegas Hangover: A Sonnet

“Through the glass I view a branch, a dry stick
Dangling singularly from a dead tree,
And it hits me in the pit like a brick:
A spade that’s made for removing debris”
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-Ryan Garth Mitchell

Driving Home to Las Vegas

“I will never know if, when I run out
of fuel on I-15—it’s happened more
than once—it is because I have no doubt…”
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-Heather Lang-Cassera

Sensible Questions

“Was that cattle?
Winter hollows Huffaker sounds.
Can you see Slide, Mount Rose, Peavine?”
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-William J. Macauley, Jr.

There Have Been So Many Summers

“I’m hesitant to tell you now
if only because I fear it is all you will remember:
the way it entered the room,
the softness with which it broke the frost…”
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-Lauren Sparks

Blue Moon

“Dear Adam,
We’re old! I hate it. Or I hate it just enough to ignore it, at least for now. When we were at UNR together didn’t the world seem like a slightly worked over place that nevertheless contained little
gristlings of shine and spark everywhere?/”
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-Jeff Alessandrelli

Greetings from Bavaria to Bonanza,—here from there

““How” those boys blurted out, hands raised in Ke-mo-sah-bee fashion, in
unison!—with recalcitrant sneers stretched across their pock-marked faces. They
were, I surmised, the hipster kids of Virginia City,—14…”
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-L. Martina Young


Away, from Reno

“Rain
Infrequent here in high desert
Smells like battery acid”
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William J. Macauley, Jr.

Comfort of the Hills: About Home 

“First things first:  
It’s Ne-VAD-uh not Ne-VAH-duh.
that needs to be clear. 
Hugged by mountain range, 
it’s unimaginable what it’s like…”
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-Collin Miceli

There Have Been So Many Summers

“I’m hesitant to tell you now 
if only because I fear it is all you will remember: 
the way it entered the room, 
the softness with which it broke the frost…”
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-Lauren Sparks

THAT  ‘SPLAINS  A  LOT

“To the elk hunters,                
(Special ones with no success
Why? No longer guess)

Nevada elk tag!
Grabbed the gear. Horses, mules led.
Tents up, dinner, bed.”
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-Rita Suminski

A Letter to Anyone 

“Summers ago, 
When I worked at a summer camp 
I remember that everyday 
The kids would go swimming, 
Just a part of their schedule.”
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-Zoey Cornelius

Wasteland: To People Considering Moving to Nevada

“The place I live is a desert in the west.
They call it a wasteland like it’s 
An open trash bin. A place to be avoided,
A place you overlook.”
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-Margie B. Klein

“C” HILL MEMORY: Carson City, 1948

“High on “C” Mountain 
above town, two boys sit,  
their heads over sagebrush, 
and out-of-breath, looking down.”
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-Thomas Shaw

High Desert Surprise: A Thank You Note

“Unlikely,
Unheard of!

Only May,
the mountain is already burning,
worst drought in history.”
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-Richard Baldo

Ne-VAH-DA(THE) Not, Ne-VUH-DUH

“Dear Fellow Non-NEVADIANS (Pronounced: Ne-VAH-THEEANS), 

In this booming state of wildflowers, one wouldn’t think that our state flower, the sagebrush…”
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-Levinita Francisco

To Nevada Nights (From Nevada Days) 

“To the Nevadan night
Though we both occupy the same space
In this long forgotten West
You, who are full of neon cowboys…”
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-Sarah Padgett

The Meadows: Letter To and From Las Vegas

Twang your magic twanger Froggy,
Light up that cigar, meet me at the slots.
Bring your compadres, all the players, 
all the tricksters, generations of try your luck,
down on your luck, if only all the luck I had 
wasn’t bad luck.”
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-Charlene Stegman Moskal


A Song of Neon and Vice

Las Vegas is a goddess of rebirth, walking between
two worlds like Persephone.
Dripping in neon, she struts the Strip
with a sly grin while sipping on a martini.
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-Melissa Gill

To Reno From The Truckee River

“I cannot explain how happy I am,
You decided to make me your home,
I was once alone
But you brought: love, light and people.”
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-Emily Hess

Note on the LV Strip

“Those curves on the hot street,
The strip of shape below the shoulder,
The glitter against pale walking past me,”
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-Richard Baldo

POEM TO WILD HORSES

“I write a poem
About the Wild Horse,
‘Cause there’s a lot of feeling here,
Albeit much suffering
And abuse by Man – most gruesome!”

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-Craig Carpenter Downer, with revision by his father Robert Carpenter Downer

Sacred: A Note of Thanks

“I have come back to you once again
Valley of Fire
to where ghost feet pad at night,
use sagebrush brooms to sweep away…”
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-Charlene Stegman Moskal

A Letter to My Family in Vallejo: I Won’t Be Moving Back

The company I moved here for just let me go,
but I’ve decided I’m staying in Reno.
I can’t blame them for the pink slip,
I haven’t been the same since dad died.
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-Corrina Angel-Baumgartner

To Whom It May Concern: Nevada Clouds Have Friendship
Bracelets With the Devil

“I spoke to God, to which he smited his smite:
flicked mercury towards the top notch,
whispered sin to water and lakes
strode to California, dragged his nail…”
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-Kiley Smith

October Letter to Reno

“Reno, I walk my life with you
the way October spins out these days.
We are both slow, but
the year and I aren’t dying yet.”
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-Melanie Perish

Letter to New Las Vegans from Old Las Vegans

“The filthy city
Is buffered by
Ranges of mountains.
Is it to keep the refuse in
Or keep nature out?”
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-Margie B. Klein

THE TRAIN: a post from a past

“Feel it coming
in the heat of summer day.
Over the horizon,
smoke rolls high and black.
Rails gleam and shimmer in sunlight.”
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-Thomas Edward Shaw


Vegas, When I was a Kid

“Vegas, When I was a Kid
When I was a kid I hated this town.
Back then,
I hated how every time someone mentioned Vegas in a movie
It’s cause they wanted to be reckless and destructive.”
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-Hermela Shoarega

Dispatch from Reno: Autumn

“Two girls laughing and sharing secrets
Walking under leafy trees showing off their autumn colors
Through narrow streets of older bungalows and cottages.
“I’m going to live here one day,” says one of them.”
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-Deb Hinman

Dear America, Nevada is better than you think

“To those who have never seen me,
What do you think when you think of Nevada?
Do you envision rolling waves of scorched sands
That cover my bones of silver deposits?”
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-Jacob Mahe

Dear Deanna

“Dear Deanna,
Hi, Big Sister,
it’s time that you know,
Why we moved here five years ago,
Determined to start a brand new life,
We left the smog and stress and strife,
For Nevada’s gorgeous views,
This place might be perfect for you.”
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-David Lee

A letter to Nevada

“So, Dear Nevada—
as an artist I see
you are
inherently abstracted full of color”
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-Paula Saponaro

To A Couple of Hard Rock Miners from Winnemucca:

“All the stories I know about Horse are second hand
and told to me by Buffalo, an oiler with long hair
who met him deep in the belly of an open pit
fifty-five miles out Jungo Road at the hard rock, Hycroft mine.”
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-Elisa Carlsen

STORM: a note of hope

“Snow racing down hills
Turning, spinning, dancing
Over the landscape
Like some ghostly spirit”
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-Eric Hobson

Dear Spencer Hot Springs

“I’m passing by tonight, giving you a two-fingered wave!
Can you see our headlights across the Big Smoky like Slow-motion meteors heading east on the Loneliest Road?
Hey, Spencer! First time we met was 40 years ago!”
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-David Fenimore

Having A Conversation with My Tia Lluya While Having Breakfast at A Denny’s in Reno, Nevada

“¡Hola, tía! ¿Qué honda?
I’m fine. It’s really the sky that scares me. It can turn from the brightest morning to the gloomy rain and solemn snow. I’m used to always being in danger, dark,”
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-Enrique Jiménez Jr.

Let Me Tell You About Basin and Range

“The car rolls smoothly over Interstate 80.
Lovelock, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain: Basin and Range.
I’m riding through it, and it’s riding through me.”
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-Sharon Boersma

A Letter to Connecticut from Reno

“Home is no longer Connecticut
I do not wake up to my dad making breakfast, his famous french toast
I no longer hangout with my friends at the beach”
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-Riley Wargo


From NV to NY: Do It For Them

“Nearly 20 years ago
We shared a dressing room, you and I. Dark, of course, with that unmistakable Mashup of makeup, sweat, musty decay…”
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-Jeanmarie Simpson

Instead of a Greeting Card

“I say a great dad lets his kid be
who she is, a mother, not a mother.
In place of grandchildren, a great dad—
who would love nothing more…”
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-Krista Lukas

My Best Wishes to the Ghost State

“You walk far enough and you’ll find her,
she’s no desert princess, no woman in white, but a howling, debilitated queen,
scratching at her natural confines…”
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-Hazel E. Lory

My Love, My Morning Routine
A Letter to My Husband

“In the morning, the sounds of the coffee pot brewing wake me up from my sleep. You call my name from the kitchen to ask if I want a cup. I say yes. I lay on my back because the bed leaves me sore…”
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-Chanel Hardy

The Rural Child

Dear Child
I stand gazing at vast, endless skies, wildlife uncontained looking upon our land without fences,
all is lying wide open – Mother Nature’s welcoming arms-“
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-Sheri Samson

From the Lowlander,

“Flat earth, all my life that’s all I know
I agree that your view from the highlands is Red rocks, Roof rats and Dry valleys”
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-Delight Ejiaka

Letter to Nevada

“Nevada,
You’ve been running through my head again like a coyote with its loose skin hanging off of its body, panting through a labyrinth…”
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-Kira Frederick

Letter to C.S.M. from Reno

“I’m glad you asked me about this strange
October gripped in time’s power, but slow to cool.
A poet I read thought resurrection
might look like autumn in Reno…”
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-Melanie Perish

Dear Kitty White Paws

“Sorry. And I mean it.
You arrive on my porch in the early hours, sniff and scratch amongst the flowers.
You look at the camera, you want to be a movie star. In my eyes, you already are…”
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-Karen Collibee

To Old Growth Vegas,

“To Old Growth Vegas,
I write to you with experience of life from other places. I come to you from my
pilgrimage to this unsure-of-itself town. I’m confused by your education and your sinking foundation…”
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-Elizabeth Allen Berry


A letter to Santa Cruz from Reno

“I woke up today and there was smoke in my lungs.
Coughing doesn’t help, it just wakes up the dog.
Outside, the smoke swirls through the pine trees and paints them with ash…”
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-Cadie Peters

If Red Rock Could Talk

“We were once water
wide as rainbows,
deep as trenches
‘til one day, we dried up…”
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-JM Huck

Letter to Hot August Nights

“I used to think that it was all about the classic cars
I used to think that it was all about the paint jobs I used to think that it was all about the rain that would come down right when the judging begins…”
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-Hunter Gowins

To my cousin

“You always came to visit
but now you’re here to stay Your sister and your parents
They miss you everyday”
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-Kylan Lagreca

thoughts that weeds might have

Letter for Clark County —
Pale
day chases
pale night,
and yet pallid…”
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-Jenna Chang

Nevadan to Nevadan:
a biggest little lament

“Hello,
I hope you’re doing well.
Even if you aren’t,
I know you’re probably doing better than me…”
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-Sophie Duvall

Letter to Cecy,
Regarding Our Trip to the Moon

“We stood on the mound behind your tin-can
house, overlooking the Catholic cemetery. Surrounded by the native flora of our planet…”
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-Penny Lane

Letter to Nevada

“What can I say?
So much; so many things:
Does snow fall on deserts?
Do wild horses play where coyotes roam?”
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-Martin A. David

Beautiful Lake Tahoe

“Dear Lake Tahoe,
Unlike all the other cities in Nevada
A home
The foundation of who I am now…”
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-Emma Midgley

Letter To Lake Mead from Alex PH 

“Dear Lake Mead, 
How does it feel 
to once be created 
by the hand of man?”
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-Alexis Jade Peltzer-Harding 


A LETTER TO CALL UPON WHEN YOU NEED IT

“One night you will wake up, unsettled,
grab a book to read a passage 
that once brought you light.”
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-Angela M. Brommel

LETTER FROM RENO IN PRAISE OF PIZZA

“There are fond memories of sitting under the dull glow of string lights,
One late fall night, in the plaza across from Reno’s only Sizzle Pie…”
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-James Barber

BEYOND THE POWER LINES

“Dear Power Lines, 
How did we come to call you that, anyway? 
Every neighborhood has a Spot with a capital “S”— “
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-Hannah Virginia Branch

PIECES OF THE PAST

“This place is history with a beauty all its own. The land is vast and mostly treeless which allows the eye to see for miles: how the wagon trains of pioneers heading west, itching to get to the promise of nuggets lying on the ground must have felt when they saw miles and miles of desert ground…”
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-Leslie A. Fry

LETTER FROM A NEVADAN TO NEVADANS: ABOUT RURAL NEVADA

“A familiar breeze moves against the sagebrush.
Rain-made aromas drift across the plain
Utter sweet and gentle salutations that please, make good memory.”
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-Seth Nuti

DISPATCH ABOUT THE TIME COVID HIT OUR TOWN

“Las Vegas 
The city that never sleeps, 
Until it does.”
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-Courtney Soloman

A LETTER FROM VEGAS VIC

“I’m told I have a brother up north—northeast to be exact.
He lives in a little town called Wendover,
last civilization in Nevada before you hit
the Utah border.”
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-Max Stone

LETTER FROM AN OUTWORLDER

Losing count of the cycles days
Since I broke containment, escaped that place
(What did they call it? Area 51?)
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-Juno Artley

HEY, NEVADA, YOU DON’T NEED TO GET GOT

“Hey, Nevada, believe me, I really do hear you
I know how incredibly frustrated you must be
They don’t even pronounce your name right…”
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-Michael P. Branch

A LETTER TO AN UNEXPECTED HOME

“After 10 years, 
it’s only fair that I’m honest. 
I’d met you just once before 
in passing. 
I was young, 15 or 16. 
Nothing too memorable; 
just a drive by.”
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-Dana Perich

LETTER TO PAST RENO

“When Virginia Street was the main street 
no one had dreamed of putting in a freeway yet. 
Campus was a mere five thousand students…”
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-Maddie McCalley

 
 

LETTER TO ELSEWHERE, FROM NEVADA

“Shannon was late for our coffee date. A coyote got hold of a small dog, was dragging it across HWY 50 when she had to slam on her brakes…”
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Courtney Cliften 

 

Letter to Angel Lake While Listening to Miles Davis: July 2022

“If this was November and I was Robert Frost
I would begin this letter with salutations
and an allusion to the color of the leaves.
..
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Justin Evans

I AM TONOPAH: A Letter to Nevadans, North and South

“I am Tonopah and I am alive
I am the heart and the soul of the past
I am the future and I will survive…”
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-Anna Whiteside

From Corn Creek

“I am Corn Creek. I’ve given birth to Las Vegas. I am the creator and giver of life. My sun shines brightly through monsoon clouds, opening up the eyes to heavenly earth…”
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-Ashton JM

Letter to Isaac from Tom

“We both found something in Nevada
About a hundred and thirty years apart
You passing through, a kid afoot with a wagon train…”
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-Tom Yearnshaw

Letter to the Man from Ely Who I Met in Tonopah

“In the time we spent at the park’s shared picnic table 
talking into the wee hours of night, you taught me 
how to say Ely with the same grace and gentle smile…”
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-Michelle Aucoin Wait

Note from a Newbie

“Like many others, when I was new to the Nevada desert I saw so little.  
Few trees, few buildings, few animals, few people…”
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-Stacy Smith

letter to the formerly living nevadan from a former nevadan

“i told them they remind me of you. that’s right—
it’s not just me anymore. now i’m left to wonder: 
how much of us is left in the air when we’ve gone?”
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-G. J. Sanford

Several billion golden years ago: This letter is to be hand canceled

“We built fires and doctored the world with the sounds of our dancing.
We scoured the stratified earth where we overlapped, and found stones that we fashioned into shrines for the demigods of our skeletons…”
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-Allyson Stronach

Letter To and From Las Vegas

“She was  a gambler, she never betted money, but she gambled with his life.
The boy remembers as a kid growing up in the Midwest, life was simple.
When he became an adult, his father reluctantly told him her secret…”
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-Steven Dee Kish

To J.W. from Reno

“Already I am waiting for autumn 
and its small glimpses of resurrection: 
At Idlewild, the leaves will change…”
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-Joanne Mallari