When my lover tells me I cannot say no, and I protest, she parts my legs, says yes, baby. Yes. I do what I’m told. No becomes a foreign country. I take it as permission. Open season. So when the waiter asks if there’ll be anything else, I peruse his menu. I’m stuffed, but I say yes, cram my mouth with macaroons and chocolate. And when the Lyft driver seduces me in the rear-view, eyes me like prey, asks, May I kiss you? I say yes. And when the long-legged woman I’ve long lusted after at the gym wonders aloud if I’m single, asks me to dinner and a movie, I say yes. And when she invites me into her bed, what can I say but yes, yes, yes? And when my fan in Nova Scotia begs me to be his muse, to sanction an explicit ode to my breasts, my ankles, my lower lip, a poem he’d never show his wife, I cannot say no to his lust and delusion. Now he wants to climb me, sublime me, shoot me full of stars. Is this what you want, too? he writes, and I answer yes. And when I return to my lover at last and she sinks into the heady dampness between my thighs, looks up at me and asks, Have you been faithful? I say, Yes.
Alexis Rhone Fancher has authored seven collections, including The Dead Kid Poems (KYSO Flash Press) and Junkie Wife (Moon Tide Press). EROTIC: New & Selected, from New York Quarterly, dropped in March, 2021. She’s published in Best American Poetry, Nasty Women Poets, Cleaver, Diode, The American Journal of Poetry, The Pedestal Magazine, and elsewhere. Her photos are published worldwide. Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Daily. She and her husband live and frolic in Los Angeles, CA. Find her at www.alexisrhonefancher.com
This poem appeared in Harbor Review in 2020.