Sunday, 2 July 2017

BAMBI EXPLAINS IT ALL- A Downtown L.A. Poem

by Alexis Rhone Fancher


When I ask about living in
pockets of squalor,
Bambi explains it, says
it’s a matter of stare
straight ahead, navigate
the gutters and don’t
wear any good jewelry.

I’ve seen her svelte self
on Spring Street, a
determined click clack of
four inch heels, both thumbs
texting. I’ve hailed her by
name from yards away.
Perfectly aloof. No reaction.
Both eyes glued to the screen.

When I ask about walking
her dog after midnight,
Bambi explains it, says
she feels safe at 3 am
(in a 2-block radius), says
people with dogs have
disposable income, tend
to stay put.

When I ask about living
with her gay best friend,
Bambi explains it, says
their devouring passion
goes beyond the sexual. But
still, he brings men home.

I’ve seen her stand lost
in her kitchen, when she
thinks no one’s looking,
seen the calm acceptance
in her eyes.

When I ask about singleness
in a cruel city,
Bambi explains it all,
says every ten years,
reinvent yourself.
Get a gay husband.
Stay lonely.
Buy a dog.


* * * * *

"Bambi Explains it All" was first published in Carbon Culture Review, 2014.

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: www.alexisrhonefancher.com