The sound

of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

bounced from a skinny radio in the cafeteria.

If you closed your eyes

you could imagine

a cocktail lounge in Las Vegas.

After all,

Vegas was open 24 hours

like the foundry

and manufactured

a conga line of dreams

like we did—

it’s funny:

a guy on midnights

blew his money wad

on gambling and girls

in Vegas,

and when it was over,

came back

with Herb Alpert’s autograph

and went to work

as if nothing happened

to all those paychecks

where his tongue had been.




John Stupp is the author of the 2007 chapbook The Blue Pacific and the 2015 full-length collection Advice from the Bed of a Friend both by Main Street Rag. His new book Pawleys Island will be published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. He lives near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.