I want to tell my friend I’ll miss her

A poem by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Alexis Rhone Fancher is the author of How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen and other heart-stab poems.
  • Alexis Rhone Fancher is the author of How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen and other heart-stab poems.

Dying Young

  • Midnight, and again I’m chasing
  • sleep: its fresh-linen smell and
  • deep sinking, but when I close my eyes I see
  • my son, closing his eyes. I’m afraid of that dream,
  • the tape looped demise as cancer claims him.
  • My artist friend cancels her L.A. trip. Unplugs the
  • internet. Reverts to source. If cancer
  • will not let go its grip then she will
  • return its embrace. Squeeze the life out of
  • her life. Ride it for all it’s worth.`
  • By the time his friends arrive at the cabin
  • my son is exhausted, stays behind while
  • the others set out on a hike. He picks up the phone.
  • “Mom, it’s so quiet here. The air has never
  • been breathed before. It’s snowing.”
  • I put on Mozart. A warm robe. Make a pot
  • of camomile tea. The view from my 8th floor
  • window, spectacular, the sliver moon, the stark,
  • neon-smeared buildings, their windows dark.
  • Sometimes I think I am the only one not sleeping.
  • My artist friend wants to draw the rain. She
  • wants to paint her memories, wrap the canvas
  • around her like a burial shroud.
  • Tonight, a girl in a yellow dress stands below
  • my window, top lit by a street lamp, her long shadow
  • spilling into the street. She’s waiting for someone.
  • I want to tell my friend I’ll miss her.
  • I want to tell my son I understand.
  • I want to tell the girl he won’t be coming.
  • That it’s nothing personal. He died young.
  • (First published in Broadzine, 2014)

Alexis Rhone Fancher is the author of How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen and other heart-stab poems (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies (2015), and the brand new, erotic, L.A.-centric collection, Enter Here (2017). She is published in The Best American Poetry 2016, Rattle, Slipstream, Plume, Nashville Review, Diode, Glass, Tinderbox, and elsewhere. Her photos are published worldwide, including the covers of Witness, Heyday, The Chiron Review, and Nerve Cowboy. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. She lives in Los Angeles. alexisrhonefancher.com

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