On Fire

Nothing good happens after midnight.” — Joe Kenda

Singed. The moon,
smudged against the night.
A bonfire at Venice Beach.
Tangerine flames torch the dark.

You lick me. When I come, you pull away.

Next morning:
A note slipped under your door.
No one escapes unscathed.
You think I mean kindling.

Over cocktails:
I wouldn’t put her out if she was on fire,
you say, meaning me.
I wish you’d stop the pyrotechnics.

I always get burned.

My therapist says: Your promiscuity stems
from your mother’s early death
. Duh.
You’re combustible, she says.

Why do I pay her to tell me what I already know?

You call me asbestic. Obstinate.
A cock tease. An arsonist. A bitch.
Truth? I’m a pushover. I’ll light you right up.

Then I’ll drop everything to save you.





Alexis Rhone Fancher’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including Best American Poetry, Rattle, Verse Daily, Plume, and Poetry East. She’s authored seven poetry collections; most recently, EROTIC: New & Selected (NYQ Books, 2021) and Stiletto Killer (in Italian; Edizioni Ensemble, 2022). Duets, an illustrated collaboration with poet Cynthia Atkins, will be published by Harbor Editions in Summer 2022. Brazen, her next full-length collection, will be released by NYQ Books in 2023. Her photographs have been featured worldwide. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, she is poetry editor of Cultural Daily.

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