when her son is dead seven years
by Alexis Rhone Fancher
after a photograph by the author, “woman/dance 4”
a woman is dancing on the moon,
a barefoot adagio of lilting beams.
she didn’t know the light was so addictive.
her feet are cooking.
her arms are empty.
she thinks there is someone to feed.
a woman is dancing on a cake plate
in her kitchen
call her angel food. she skirts the frosting’s edge
skates straight to the bone-white middle.
she has a persistent memory.
she has a penchant for truth.
she has a life that is slipping away.
a woman is skating barefoot on her sorrow
her brain awash in the smell of his skin,
her arms shackled to the stars, a
pirouette of unmet promises
regret. if she blames it on herself
she can fix it.
a woman is taking her dead boy’s eyes
to the moon
she wants to show him the whole earth
before he finally gets some sleep.
a woman is sleepwalking on the moon,
stardust clinging to her heels.
she’s carrying life inside her
a luminescent, big-bellied Madonna.
she once loved a Russian poem
about a pregnant girl, chasing the moon;
but now she’s forgotten who wrote it
and how the poem ends.
she just keeps chasing the moon.
and the moon, with her big belly, complicit,
out in the darkness, lighting the way.
* * * * *
©Alexis Rhone Fancher 2015, "when her son is dead seven years" was first published in Blotterature and nominated for Best of The Net, 2015. It is also part of her collection State of Grave: The Joshua Elegies (KYSO Flash Press, 2015).
L.A. poet Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry, Verse Daily, Plume, The
American Journal of Poetry, Rattle, Hobart, Diode, Nashville Review, Wide Awake, Poets of Los
Angeles, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She’s the author of 5 poetry collections; How I
Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies (2015), Enter
Here (2017), Junkie Wife (2018), and The Dead Kid Poems (2019). EROTIC, New & Selected,
publishes in 2020 from New York Quarterly. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net
nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. www.alexisrhonefancher.com