Alexis Rhone Fancher – Men

Alexis Rhone Fancher LEP&W V1 Dec 2022

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume One December 2022.

Men by Alexis Rhone Fancher.

Men, The Sad Girl’s Lament

I love men but I’m broken.
I hoard them, buffers against lean times.
Men are trash.
I want them to suffer like I do.

I hoard them, buffers against lean times.
Payback’s a bitch.
They should suffer like I do.
I want them to die for love.

Payback’s a bitch.
Those times I’ve been undone by love.
I want them to die for love.
Those men who used me, spit me out.

Countless times I’ve been undone by love.
I’ve loved so hard it nearly killed me.
Those men who used me, spit me out.
It’s their turn.

I’ve loved so hard it killed me.
Men aren’t trash.
But it’s their turn.
I love men but I’m broken.


Hair on the head of the dead girl kept growing. Dark roots sprouted, clutched at her delicate scalp, muddied the bleached tips, embarrassed her, one last time. No, Google says. The hair doesn’t grow; the body, deprived of moisture, begins imperceptibly, to shrink. Like people do when they’ve lived too long. Like a man’s cock does once he’s come. Loses interest. Seeks a nap. A sandwich. Wants to do it again. The cops showed up before dawn. Lights and sirens everywhere. The whole neighborhood wide awake. When they knocked on my door I was ready, my bathrobe half-belted, a mug of French Roast steaming in my hand. Coffee, Officer? (My mother always said, you never know when you’ll meet your one true love, so always look your best; make coffee!) Yes, Officer, yes, I heard the screams. The cop was all ears. Screams? Plural? he asked. Yes. And loud enough to wake the dead, I said. Male? Female? I considered. High-pitched. Female, if I had to guess, although, you know. I gave him a look. When he asked me if I saw anyone else, I lied. When he asked me why I hadn’t called it in, I shrugged. Lately, things around here are going to the dogs, I admitted. But what’s that got to do with me? No one made me the head of neighborhood watch. I have things to do. I have a busy life. (“Good fences make good neighbors,” my mom used to say.) So when they came home, I ignored my neighbor’s screams. Closed my windows. Pulled down the blinds. I’d seen her come home before, two or  three in the morning, bedraggled, spent. Seen her tumble out of her Mercedes and drag ass up the stairs, followed by her latest loser. Tonight, illumined by the porch light, I saw him crush her against the front door, his mouth hungry. I imagined his tongue down her throat, the moan she made when he fingered her. I confess, I wanted to be that girl, wasted, wanton, that man’s hands on my breasts, his cock between my thighs. I watched as she extracted herself from his grip, maneuvered inside. Watched her date slip in after her. Saw the lights go on. Then off. Then on again, around 4 am. About when I heard the screams. I sped to the window in time to see my neighbor, half-naked, press her face against the kitchen windows, then slip down out of sight, saw her lover slink out the door, fade into the night. I wondered if the man was still lurking, or if he’d left for good. If he did come back, maybe I’d have a chance with him. I watched from my doorway as the medics rolled my neighbor out on a gurney, a white sheet pulled up over her face but not her head. Her hair, spiked and defiant, those black roots a dead giveaway.

Undeniable Signs of Homicidal Violence  

I’d never have guessed from the looks of him: tall, clear-skinned, elegant. Wardrobe straight out of G.Q. A whiff of patchouli in his wake, meant to keep a woman off guard. And such kind eyes! A devastating shade of blue. Arctic, is how I think of them now, but back then they were piercing. Intense. Words I use to lie to myself when I can’t face the dirty truth about someone I’d like to fuck. It always starts out fine, right? My new love ticks all the boxes, performs those courtship ploys girls are taught to desire. The stock seduction scenarios men use to bait, hook, and then – let wiggle on that hook until she’s beat down, compliant. Or dead. I’m trying to conjure the chum, the shift, the sharp pull on the line that reeled me in. Snuffed me out. Why? What changed? I’m doing research, watching countless episodes of ID Obsession, The First 48, and Forensic Files. Going back over every misstep. Taking copious notes. The segue that men do once they’re sure you can’t live without them? Is it something the woman does or says that starts her down the denigration path? Ever since I let him move in with me, eat at my table, share my bed, the relationship’s downhill. I love you, baby, he says, but no more civilities, opening doors, rubbing my feet, doing the dishes after supper. Now, each day he gets shorter with me. Cruel. Aren’t you finished grieving yet? he asked a week after my best friend died. She’s not coming back. Get over it! I chalk up his callousness to a horrible childhood, a single mom with serial boyfriends who beat him. How he ran away at sixteen, did a stint in juvie, and found Jesus, had him tattooed on his chest. Yesterday, I discovered him scrolling through my phone. Delete. Delete. Delete. Now at restaurants, he orders for me. The diet plate. Gotta watch your weight, babe,” he says, winks broadly at the waitress. When I ask him what’s changed, he explains he’s just settling in. That I should get used to it. Man is king of his castle, he says. I am your king. He quits his job, plays video games all day and night. Starts drinking at 9 am, in time to watch Wayne Brady on Let’s Make a Deal. What happened to the man I fell for? These days I do nothing right, berated for the least transgression. So when he knocks me around, tells me it’s for your own good, I believe it. When he snuffs out my words with his hand over my mouth I quit talking. And when he pummels me in my sleep one night when he comes home drunk, again, I let him. I must deserve it. When the gun is missing from my night stand drawer, I bust out a window, tell the police there’s been a break-in, no idea as to the perpetrator. And when my beloved shoots me four times with my own gun, I play dead. I’ll kill you, and then  I’ll kill me, he’d promised, those blue eyes sincere. But he lied. He wiped the gun, put it in my right hand. Like I’d shot myself four times, lived to tell the tale.

© Alexis Rhone Fancher

Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry, Rattle, Verse Daily, The American Journal of Poetry, Plume, Diode, Flock, and elsewhere. She’s authored nine poetry collections, most recently, DUETS (Small Harbor), Junkie Wife (Moon Tide Press), The Dead Kid Poems (KYSO Flash Press), Stiletto Killer (Edizone Italia) and EROTIC: New & Selected (NYQ Books). Her photographs are featured worldwide, including the covers of Witness, The Pedestal Magazine, and Spillway. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural

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