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SHJ Issue 16
Spring 2017

Roman Holiday

by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Pino has the tiniest dick in Europe.
My sister’s thumb and forefinger
are a scant inch apart.

When it comes to
postmortems, she’s worse than a man.

We stroll Villa Borghese like lovers.
The air reeks of jasmine.
We have just viewed the Caravaggios,
and are drunk on art and our own power.

This summer we’ve been screwing
our way through Europe,
a Brit, a Dane, two Spaniards, an Austrian
record producer, and a set of tri-lingual
Croatian twins.

Even the Texans we hooked up with near the
Spanish Steps stood no chance.

The tall blond boy & my sister, getting
sexy in the back of the restaurant;
me & the dark one, reckless,
his thick hand on my thigh.

Next week we’ll move on to the Florentines
(lecherous, slick) and we will treat more men badly,
one city as good as another,
cutting a swath of calculated payback for
every man who ever broke our hearts.

When you’re this beautiful, my sister says,
it’s always a race against time.


—Selected for Honorable Mention in the competition for the Steve Kowit Poetry Prize 2016; first published in the San Diego Poetry Annual 2016-17 (Garden Oak Press, February 2017); also published in the poet’s full-length collection of erotic poetry and photography, Enter Here (KYSO Flash Press, May 2017); and appears here with permissions from poet and publishers


SHJ Issue 16
Spring 2017

Alexis Rhone Fancher

is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other heart-stab poems (Sybaritic Press, 2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies (KYSO Flash Press, 2015), and Enter Here (forthcoming from KYSO Flash Press in June 2017).

Her writing has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and appears in more than 100 literary magazines, journals, and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 2016, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, Rattle, The MacGuffin, Slipstream, Hobart, Cleaver Magazine, Poetry East, Fjords Review, Rust + Moth, Plume, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Askew, and Nashville Review.

Her photographs have been published worldwide, including spreads in River Styx, Heart Online, and Rogue Agent, and on the covers of Heyday Magazine, Chiron Review, Witness, and The Mas Tequila Review.

A lifelong Angeleno, Rhone Fancher is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly, where she also publishes a monthly photo-essay, “The Poet’s Eye,” about her on-going love affair with Los Angeles. From the S-curves of Topanga and the sprawling beaches of the Westside, to the stunning views of downtown L.A. from her 8th-floor loft studio, her beloved city can be construed as another character in her work.

Find her at:

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury