home    issue 06   

  • Matt Ferrill (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Saturday Night At The Silverlake Lounge
Deborah Aguilar Escalante
Cover Photo. Matt Ferrill (CC BY-SA 2.0)


after sunset,
on the boulevard
of estranged ideals
and bitter laments,
sin preys upon the weary
that walk along its way,
and condemns me to follow.

going downhill
past a golden-lit wall,
the lounge greets me
with the brilliant shine of its name,
and invites me to break free
by guiding me towards its gates.

as stucco steps lead me
inside to obscurity,
my sight slowly adjusts to view
visions of an upbeat bar,
and drinking spirits being served
to numerous and faithful patrons.

a small shrine illuminates a corner table
holding bibles of Bukowski
stacked carefully next to a cigar
and a tall bottle of whisky,
a tribute righteously reserved 
for a god of the L.A. netherworld.

as red velvet curtains cascade
delicately across the main stage,
a halo of luminous light
surrounds a glowing sign,
accepting requests for absolution
with a single word that reads: SALVATION.

there begins a ceremony of cross dressers
using various chants and gestures
to summon Latin has-beens,
and as the act of redemption begins,
hiding beneath the darkness,
I realize that this is what life is—

and for the first time,
I feel real.
and on this night,
I am saved.