He paints me naked in an empty room.
Like I need nothing. Like he needs me.
I’m his type.
High tits. Lean shadow,
blond hair falling
past my shoulders.
A long drink of water.
There is no escape.
But the window to my left is a promise.
Wide open. Green hills.
"Hold still!" he says.
So I stare at the painting on the wall.
Another landscape, this one contained
by a white mat, black frame;
it, too, allows for dreaming. But it only
goes so far, then hits the wall. Like him.
Only so far before he drops off-grid and
disappears into the canvas. No
wonder I can’t stay still.
The room holds little. A bed, my shoes
abandoned underneath. A pack of
cigarettes. My restless heart. A rectangular shaft
of light pours in from an open, second window and
the breeze plays with my hair.
"Fix it!" he says.
I tuck the wisp of hair behind my right ear,
just the way he likes it, then put my hand
back where it belongs.
He says his favourite thing is painting sunlight
on the side of a house.
"So why paint me?" I ask.
"So you’ll stay put.”
Alexis Rhone Fancher
This poem was first published in The Mas Tequila Review.
Alexis Rhone Fancher’s poem, “when I turned fourteen, my mother’s sister took me to lunch
and said:” was chosen by Edward Hirsch for inclusion in The Best American Poetry of 2016.
Find her poems in Rattle, The MacGuffin, Slipstream, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles,
Hobart, Chiron Review, Quaint, Fjords Review, Broadzine, Cleaver and elsewhere. She’s the
author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen, (Sybaritic Press, 2014) and State of Grace:
The Joshua Elegies, (KYSO Flash Press, 2015). Since 2013 Alexis has been nominated for 7
Pushcart Prizes and 4 Best of the Net Awards. www.alexisrhonefancher.com
The Ekphrastic Review
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