Back On Meth, Anna Dumps Her Dog At Her Mother’s
by Alexis Rhone Fancher
1. The dog can’t climb the stairs.
I hear the defeat in my sister’s voice.
The vet was cheap, she says, for a Sunday.
$150 bucks, including the arthritis medication.
A steal, I agree. Just put it on Anna’s tab.
2. My daughter’s a bottomless pit, my sister says.
She thinks I’m made of money!
What makes her think she can sponge off me?
You do, I answer.
I’m done, my sister swears.
This time I almost believe her.
3. Let’s role play, I say, when my sister wavers.
You be me, and I’ll be a pushover.
That night Anna shows up, suicidal,
high as a kite. I don’t know how long I can live like this,
my sister texts from inside a locked bathroom.
I text back: You may have to give up the dog.
4. Next day my sister calls.
We’re keeping the dog, she says.
We’re the only stable family he’s ever known.
I hear Anna screaming in the background.
5. When the phone rings at 3 a.m.
I’m afraid to answer.
This time it’s a wrong number.
* * * * *
"Back On Meth, Anna Dumps Her Dog At Her Mother’s" was first published in The Chiron Review (Summer 2019)
L.A poet Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry, Rattle, Poetry East,
Hobart, VerseDaily, American Journal of Poetry, Duende, Plume, Diode, Wide Awake:
Poets of Los Angeles, and elsewhere. She’s the author of five published poetry collections, most
recently, Junkie Wife (Moon Tide Press, 2018), and The Dead Kid Poems (KYSO Flash
Press, 2019). EROTIC: New & Selected, publishes in 2020 from New York Quarterly. Her
photographs are published worldwide, including River Styx, and the covers of Pithead Chapel,
Heyday, and Witness. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry
editor of Cultural Weekly. www.alexisrhonefancher.com