We carry our identity on our fingertips
by Alexis Rhone Fancher
When you think that I’m not looking,
you bring your fingers to your nose.
We carry our identity on our fingertips,
you say, pattern recognition-based,
all those whorls and arches.
I’d know them anywhere, baby,
your ridges, and loops,
how fiercely they grip and throttle.
Tonight I slice the garlic, season the roast,
rub cinnamon, brown sugar, pepper
and salt into the meat.
Sear it evenly on all eight sides.
When I bring my fingers to my nostrils, I smell dinner;
when I bring them to yours, you smell love.
I watch you scrape those tasty bits
from the bottom of the pot,
deglaze with beef broth and merlot.
We tie the rosemary sprigs with twine;
float them above the nascent gravy,
chopped onions the crown on top.
You set the timer for 70 minutes,
program the Instant Pot for quick release.
Meanwhile, in the bedroom, we’ve got time.
You school me in the efficacy
of facial recognition, palm prints, iris I.D.
rub your body all over mine, finger my flesh,
program me for quick release.
* * * * *
"We carry our identity on our fingertips" was firs published in The Night Heron Barks (October, 2020)
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