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"Here's That Thing I Owe You, Las Vegas": a poem by Dayvid Figler

Photography by Christopher Smith



Sorry I checked out for a while.

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I’m easily distracted.


Was gorging on your native fruits, too.


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            (not good fruits, mind you)


Default fruits.


            (cherries and lemons and buffalo bits)

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I admit I got drunk. 


            (fermented in the sun)



Waiting for sour milk to become sweet,

I went from WILD to COLD.


            (we all did)


It seemed a gift. 

Welcomed mirage.

Expansive cabana, full comp. 

Luxury pool of time.


A place where we could doodle & craft.


Draw lines around my fingers.  TURKEY.

Draw fingers down my throat.  JERKY.   


            (Assuredly  someone else knows what’s it like to be 

            the sad, bad, blue-eye front man)


Wait! Where was I? 





About to give you what I owe you.


Even though this time  wasn’t a gift.

Only a respite bubbling with spite.

Demarked with markers that won’t let you forget 

            every bad decision.


The phone is ringing. Ringing. 


            (No wake-up call will be answered.

            This city is perpetually hungover)


But now, I’m up.

I know what day it is.

I did the spring clean.

Found some things. 


So here’s that thing I owe you, Las Vegas.


It’s the key to the City 

I accidently took home

            despite it being attached to a giant spoon.


I was thoughtless.

Now ready to make amends for both of us.

I’ve taken the time to doodle and craft words into directions.


Put the key in the engine.

Let’s drive down the parade route, together.


I yell, “Shotgun” and slip into the backseat.


            (Listen to my whispers)


Take a left at the fountains and I promise

We’ll all be refreshed in the mist.


Dayvid Figler is a private attorney and former judge who grew up in Las Vegas and refuses to stop ... growing up. He is a former NPR commentator and is a contributing columnist to the Nevada Independent . Follow him on Twitter at @OyVegas.