Glitter by Sammy Slabbinck
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Ode to Chameleon Queens of Hollywood SadcoreI’m in a gas station with Lana Del Rey
we’ve been driving for ten hours
and we’ve drank enough coffee to fill ten of us.
“I love gas stations,” she says, kicking at the dirt on the floor
picking up a pack of beef jerky and shoving a strip
between her honey-plumped lips.
She slides a piece of cinnamon gum between her teeth
and looks at me as the shadows change her eyes
from smokestack grey to cinnamon florets.
“Here, we’re the most glamorous things in the whole store.
And here, the store is the whole world.”
She wipes a line of soda bubbles on her blue jeans.
They trail over her legs like ants. I want to tell her
she could be the most glamorous thing anywhere,
but she changes before my eyes and now I only see
a thirty-year-old woman with cheeks round as peaches
and a pepsi between hands that have been everywhere
from the balls of an eighty-year-old man with blood made
purely of heroin to microphones balancing on the
stage of the Hollywood Bowl, equal amounts of heroin
pulsing through the bloodstreams of the camera lenses.
We head over to the coffee stand and fill large cups
with thick brown coconut coffee and splenda and skim.
She spreads a mess of chocolate, cigarettes and peach lip gloss
on the counter, peels apart singles sticky with mint gum
and I wonder if we’ll make it to LA by morning.
She chain-smokes like she wants to overdose on nicotine
huge throaty gulps and lips all motion
eyes full of synthetic gas station light.
“I wish I was dead,” she says as we walk back to the car.
And I think she sings the song of herself
just the way Whitman intended
a thousand forms of her spinning in and around
the walls of the Pontiac.
Hers is a soul so scattered
it could never be anything but what it was born to be.
She is a woman and she is a fantasy
depending on what your world looks like at the time
gas station or beach house full of guns. And right now the highway
stretches out before us like the devil’s tongue
or God’s backbone – it’s so dark that now I can’t tell –
we’re both gods, we’re both angels, we’re both demons
either way we fly. I light her cigarette
and we talk until we run out of coffee and
pull into the next throbbing little artery
in the web of highways that knit the body