North To Searchlight, Las Vegas-Bella Pori

New girl leans on sticky country tabletop bars
and wonders why she ever thought there would be more for her.
Eight songs in to a never ending set
she tries to croon the way they leer, but can’t match it.
Some of them men who come
with their clean boots and too big trucks
they talk loudly, flash belt buckles like diamonds
promise to make her a rich woman
give her something to look forward too
keep that pretty voice safe.
Some of those men probably know
who she really is
and what they would be getting in to
but most think she is sad because she sings that way.
She goes home alone most nights
though sometimes a shy cowboy
has the nerve to talk to her
and she falls into their accents
like downey hay, she begs
them to tell her stories that will
remind her of what she left
behind, and lies awake after
trying to remember the smell
of summer evenings on the farm
and what her tears used to taste like
before she leaves again.



Bella Pori is a law student and poet in Brooklyn, New York. Her poetry can be found in HCE Review, Alternating Current, FEELINGS, and the Raw Art Review, among others. Her sestina in The Stillwater Review was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her political writing and brackets of the hottest Kennedys can be found on

“Outside the street’s on fire in a real death waltz / between what’s flesh and what’s fantasy / And the poets down here don’t write nothing at all / they just stand back and let it all be.” –Bruce Springsteen
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