Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry 2016, Verse Daily, Plume, Rattle, The American Journal of Poetry, Diode, Tinderbox, Nashville Review, and elsewhere. She’s the author of 4 poetry collections, including State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies (2015), Enter Here (2017), and Junkie Wife (2018). Her photos are published worldwide, including the covers of Nerve Cowboy and Witness. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. http://www.alexisrhonefancher.com
TATTOOED-GIRL IN A SHEER, WHITE BLOUSE. SUSHI BAR FANTASY, IN 4 PARTS, A DTLA Poem
(tattoo girl poem #1)
1. IN THE RESTAURANT
I want to unbutton her. I need to run
my fingers down her rainbow skin,
expose the peekaboo of her sleeves.
I have a suspicion what’s underneath;
the clouds, the python, the sloe-eyed siren
who clings to the cliff of her narrow hips,
the hyacinths behind her knees.
I want to see for myself.
2. IN THE LADIES’
She’s washing herself in the sink like
Madonna’s desperate Susan: neck, armpits,
breasts. Lucky me.
She asks me to scrub her back;
I trace a lotus flower atop indigo waves,
the springboard for a hummingbird with
iridescent wings. I dream about such things.
She aims the hand dryer on the wall at her
throat, lifts her arms above her head. On her
right bicep, a Kyoto dragon wrestles with
the sun, on her left, the beginnings of a crescent moon,
a festoon of stars twinkling on her wrists like
diamond tennis bracelets.
She unbuttons her jeans,
shimmies them down around her ankles.
Above her mons a red heart ripped asunder,
and something written in Japanese.
“What does it say?”
“Whatever you want it to.”
I want it to say “Enter Here.”
4. IN MY HEART
See our reflections in the mirror
above the sink,
me, looking worshipful, ravenous.
She looks like the girl who’ll choose
the tattoo needle over me, romance it until
there’s nothing left for wounding.
I should have found her sooner.
First published in The Chiron Review, 2016