by Alexis Rhone Fancher
Sunday nights we’d drag the double mattress
to the roof, sleep under the stars, naked,
on cool, silk sheets that caught the moonlight.
I dazzled the heavens, my breasts fluorescent,
pin point nipples saluting the galaxies.
Your cock, darker than the rest of you,
would slip between my thighs.
You were better than any drug.
Friday and Saturday nights we’d head for North Beach
in our thrift shop finery, (my see-through
dress and platform shoes, your big black boots);
after-hours at Keystone Korners, you’d sit in with Freddy
Hubbard or Elvin Jones, play keyboards while I
listened from my ringside table.
I knew you’d be famous. Your name
on the club’s marquee, a recording contract
just a kiss away.
Meanwhile, you trawled the musicians’ union
for session work, paying gigs (weddings, bar mitzvahs), played
security guard at the Hofbrauhaus, coming home
at 3am, a purloined brisket or pork roast under your jacket,
cooked to perfection. Still warm.
Some nights, I’d sit at the bar, nursing a whisky,
watch you play adagios on the holster of your gun to combat
boredom, a scowl on your face, like you were straddling
the fence between guarding the place or robbing it,
each of us dreaming of Sunday nights when
we’d lie together on the rooftop, complicit
in the steamy heat, searching each other’s
faces for some secret, lost between us,
like how we fell in love in the first place.
* * * * *
"Indian Summer" was first published in Gold Man Review (2019).
Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry, Rattle, Hobart, Verse Daily, Plume, Cleaver, Diode, Duende, Pirene’s Fountain, Poetry East, Pedestal Magazine and elsewhere. She’s authored five poetry collections, most recently, Junkie Wife (Moon Tide Press, 2018), and The Dead Kid Poems (KYSO Flash Press, 2019). EROTIC: New & Selected, from New York Quarterly, and another, full-length collection (in Italian) by Edizioni Ensemble, Italia, will both be published in 2021. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. www.alexisrhonefancher.com