Alexis Rhone Fancher

Housekeeping

Ashes to ashes dust to Swiffer.

I love you like a cat loves an ankle,
rubbed up against, territorial.
I love you like the Swiffer loves
the dust, deeply, with an
electrostatic charge.

When you’re gone
I shout your name.
I match your socks.
I scrub the kitchen sink.

Am I not your beloved?

Hidden in a heap of laundry,
I touch myself,
come on your warm, white
sheets.

If you see a trail of glistening
girl sparkling across your coverlet,
know it as a road map to me.

 

Regarding The Unreliability Of Buses in The Desert In Late July

The Girl

She wouldn’t last the afternoon.

Chalk white. Redheaded determination against
the soul-crushing Mojave.

What kind of life was it anyway,
when the closest thing to civilization was a mall
twenty miles away?

The pretty ones, her mama said,
rarely had far to walk.

The Mother
Nothing ages a woman like a dead kid.
Except, maybe, the desert.
Skin turned to parchment.
Age spots on her hands. A penance.

She stuffed them in her pockets.

The Man
The girl climbed into his dusty pick up.
Those tiny shorts, metal zipper flashing back
the sun, playing off the skin of her inner thigh.

It was like a dream, he told the police.

The Mall
glistened. Macy’s. Target. The Body Shop. Mrs. Field’s. The Sharper Image.
Victoria’s Secret. Wetzel’s Pretzels.

Every Kiss Begins With Kay.

The Mother
She sat at the table in the small trailer and
watched the sun flatline behind the highway.
Then she raised her glass of hard lemonade.

Here’s to the dead kid. She saluted
the faded snapshot, tacked up above the sink.

The blue-eyed girl in the photo
looked right through her.

Outside, the highway trembled as the bus
whizzed by, asphalt searing the tires,
their high whine a love song, a murmur.

My girl. The one with big ambition.
We all figured she’d be the one to get away.

         for Chelsea Kashergen

© Alexis Rhone Fancher

Alexis Rhone Fancher’s poem, “when I turned fourteen, my mother’s sister took me to lunch and said:” was chosen by Edward Hirsch for inclusion in The Best American Poetry of 2016. She is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other heart-stab poems (Sybaritic Press, 2014) and State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies (KYSO Flash Press, 2015). She has been published in Rattle, The MacGuffin, Slipstream, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles, Hobart, and elsewhere. Her photos have been appeared in print worldwide, including in spreads in Blue Lyra, River Styx, Blink Ink, Fine Linen, HeART Online, Rogue Agent, and the on the covers of Witness and The Mas Tequila Review. Since 2013, Alexis has been nominated for seven Pushcart Prizes and four Best of The Net awards. She is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. Find her at alexisrhonefancher.com

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