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
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
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
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.
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 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.
glistened. Macy’s. Target. The Body Shop. Mrs. Field’s. The Sharper Image.
Victoria’s Secret. Wetzel’s Pretzels.
Every Kiss Begins With Kay.
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