After The Restraining Order Expires,
M. Begs Me To Meet Him For Lunch
Says he ‘killed it’ in anger management class,
that everything’s under control. Bygones.
I drink my unrequited malice.
Wonder how soon he’ll turn deadly.
You’re a sip, he says, barely a swallow.
He laps up my resistance,
leans over, nuzzles my neck,
wraps his arm around my indecision.
Remind me again why we broke up?
He was always a fine interrogator.
I watch his shirt ride up above his belly,
where I’d lay my head to suck him off.
The desperation of his stark, white skin,
the crude exposure.
I’d pull his shirt back down,
but it would be too much like tenderness.
Tlaltecutli By Starlight in Puerto Escondido
I buy her tequila shooters at the Cafe del Mar. She is exquisite, this woman, named for the Mexican goddess of the earth, her eyes the infinity of a moonless night. We’re alone at the bar. I am the unwilling sacrifice, she cautions. I watch as she swallows the sun. I should heed her warning. Instead, I follow her under the pier, where the wind moans exactly like Tlaltecutli, my lips at her throat, as I tongue my way down her small, brown reticence. Te quiero, she sighs, breath the clove of her cigarettes. That night, under the pier, my hunger fueled by tequila and the musk of her hair, I finger her inside her cut-off jeans, embroidered with crossed bones and skulls, while she clings to me, eyes shut, and we sway to the narco-corrido music blasting from some homeboy’s boombox, carried on the breeze. It is a steamy September night, the sand still warm from the hot sun’s kiss, the beach deserted. Tlaltecutli opens her eyes, two blue-black, smoldering coals. I am the great Tlaltecutli! Her deep-throated wail. Ravish me, plunder me! Tear me apart! She’s crazy drunk, wanton. A vortex, she sucks me in. My mouth finds hers while my fingers bore their way inside her. And when her legs buckle, and her eyes glaze over, I hold her; my fingers impale her until she erupts. Horrified, I watch her body cleave in two. Her arms wrench apart; her agonizing screams pierce the night. I should run, leave her there. But I can’t. My legs are sinking in the sand. Tlaltecutli speaks to me with murder in her mouth. They say nothing will grow until I am moistened with the blood of sacrifice.
She pulls me down, into her madness. It’s where I want to go.
Los Angeles poet, Alexis Rhone Fancher, is published in Best American Poetry 2016, Verse Daily, Plume, Rattle, Nashville Review, Glass, Tinderbox, and elsewhere. She’s the author of four books of poetry. A multiple Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, Fancher is also poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. Her latest book is Enter Here.