Lights Out

An ode to Vegas Vickie

Do not grow attached to me. Now or ever. Do not allow yourself to be bewitched by the whiteness of my gloves, the subtlety of my smile. My soft finishes, my fluorescent glow. Take no photograph of me in this state. I am not to be remembered this way. I am an image. Unconsecrated. Unvarnished. Though my eyes are unblinking, legs stiffened for decades at a time, my perch barren, I am alive.

Feeling and sensing. I move to the rhythm of bulbs and copper wires, flanked by a faded YESCO logo.
I was carved not out of marble but desire. A crimson desire, red as the paint upon my lips, red as the blood of cattle barons who paved the street above which I sat. I mounted myself on sin. I took her as a sister and how she sparkled!

Author Chris Cipollini

I smiled come hither at the man across the street and watched as desires lured wayward souls into my door. I smirked as deals where made by shifty suits, and handsome hustlers came and went in financial oblivion. It was my perch and it fed me glitter. I was the most beautiful girl in town. I raised my boot heel high, a middle finger to morality.

Yet I was ripped from my precipice. Don’t preserve my admonishment before the neon gods. The lights glitter on, indifferent to my degradation.

This is what it’s like down here, I thought? The people so sad. The cracks in the street endless. They have big plans for this place, but they don’t include me. I’m a remnant of something ungentrified.

Now here I lay. Cloaked in tepid darkness. In the distance, I see what looks like angel’s wings. Another casualty of ambition. Her only crime: blessing a place that was never meant to be sanctified.

My spectacle has been witnessed. Don’t preserve me. Leave me here. Like a light that will not soon shine again.

Chris Cipollini is a writer and spoken-word artist originally from Southern California. He currently lives in Downtown Las Vegas and is captivated by the city’s underbelly. For more information on Chris and his work, visit

Vegas Seven