For Francesca Bell.
M has never said I love you before.
Not to me.
He cries at weddings, like a girl.
The sex is only good if we’re totally fucked up.
It blurs how wrong we are for each other.
English is not M’s native tongue. It eludes him.
Maybe he misspoke?
His prepositions hang mid-air.
He says it’s hard to think when it’s hard.
M’s white teeth nibble at my clit like a ferret.
The two front ones indent slightly;
it makes him look goofy, like a joke.
Sometimes when we have sex, M’s calico meow trips
across my back. Rakes a claw. Caterwauls.
She doesn’t want me here.
Sometimes when we have sex, I am the one in heat.
Outside, the tin roof rain suicides
on the hard-packed earth.
M is fucking me from behind, his
body melded into my ass, fingers kneading my breasts.
He’s mumbling up the courage.
I know what he’s trying to say.
I want to fuck him mute.
In the bedroom there’s this
Dennis Hopper photo of Tuesday Weld,
driving, top down, blonde hair streaming.
Circa 1968. She’s unfettered.
Why can’t he see that
I am that girl, my top down,
my hair streaming,
my consequence-less life?
M. bought the print for me but
I don’t want it.
I want nothing from him but
a silent film, a carnival.
I want him to want that, too.
I want him to shut up but
he zeros in on my ear
and says it.
First published in Cactus Heart Magazine, 2014.
Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry 2016, Plume, Rattle, Diode, Rust & Moth, Nashville Review, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. She is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other heart stab poems, (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), and Enter Here (2017). A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.
Photograph by Adhvaith.