Saturday 23 January 2021


by Alexis Rhone Fancher

1.Inside the shell: the girl. Almost 15, still submerged. She dreams ocean and desire
until a boy swims out of her.

2. She’s a bundle of suspense, her mother thinks. A handful. But the boy sees
the girl, all her hunger. She has no mirror, does not yet know she is a siren.

3. Inside the shell: the girl. Her inner Mussorgsky. Her red bikini. Her demeanor
a mediterranean pink, the color of her sex, libido - a jitterbug of stars - thrown against her sky.

She plots her escape. Tests the latches. Her mother tests them, too.

4. The family astrologer charts the girl’s course. Venus in Scorpio. Her Leo moon.
The foreseeable future? Mars in the 6th house and invasion.

5. The little shell drifts. Treads water. Her mother wants to keep the girl safe.
But she is exhausted & works full time.

6. Outside the shell: the boy. He’s in over his head. His Circe is calling. The lure.
The slosh and toss.

He buys a waterproof camera, infrared film to capture her.

7. The boy knows they are fated. Hard not to imagine jimmying the lock,
their bodies colliding in the crashing waves, starlight, her briny coast glittering.

* * * * *

"LITTLE SHELL/BIG OCEAN: The Awakening" was first Published in Rag Queen Periodical (2017)

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.

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