Alexis Rhone Fancher

The Famous Poet Apologizes For Not Coming On To Me Sooner

He presses into me a bit too hard when we embrace
after lunch at Octopus, where he spilled his most recent tryst

(the blonde who matched him drink for drink
on a day-cruise to Catalina, gave him a blow job on A-Deck).

I’ve been his daughter-confessor for years.

The famous poet updated me on his student-stalker, a fixture
since he broke her heart in 2015, who still leaves roses

on the hood of his vintage MG convertible,
scratches “I love you” in the paint with thorns.

The famous poet strokes my hair, tells me I’m beautiful.
You’re every bit as desirable as the other women I’ve pursued, he says.

He asks why we’ve never hooked up before.
I tell him his life has too much drama.

He takes my words as a revelation,
my off-the-shoulder blouse, as an invitation.

The famous poet nuzzles my neck as we hug one last time.
I find décolletage particularly irresistible, he murmurs.

His lips get lost in my throat.

I remind him I’m married.
So am I, he says.



The Famous Poet Asks Me For Naked Photos

1. “You are a forbidden planet,”
he says at the bar after his reading,
when all his satellites have gone.

He drains his third martini.

I smile.

Encouraged, he puts his arm
around my shoulder, confesses
he can jack off to a photo only once;
he needs a constant supply.

2. The famous poet smells
musty, shopworn. He pops a breath mint,
runs a hand through his silver mane.

“You are my muse and savior,” he says,
right after he tells me his second wife
no longer likes to fuck.

He smoothes an aberrant bang
from my forehead.
“Are you clean-shaven?” he asks,
staring at the mystery between my thighs.
“Or do you roll au naturelle?

3. The famous poet wants me to
take a selfie in the ladies’,
pull my skirt up and my panties
down, and I admit, it gets me wet.

Like him, I’m not getting any at home.
I want to wrap my legs around his head.

4. The famous poet swears his wife
is cool with his serial betrayals,
that they inhabit different countries
in the same, small house.
But I’ve seen his wife at parties, how
his philandering makes her flinch,
the face of desperation, choked down,
Sylvia Plath style.

The face that wants me to suffocate
like Sylvia did

and watch. The face that says
once I was you.



Alexis Rhone Fancher 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). She is published in The Best American Poetry 2016, Rattle, Slipstream, Hobart, Cleaver, The MacGuffin, Poetry East, Plume, Glass, and elsewhere. Her photographs are published worldwide, including the cover of Witness, Heyday, and Nerve Cowboy, and a spread in River Styx. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of The Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. She lives in Los Angeles. Find out more at: