In response to Leonora Carrington’s “Self-Portrait (Inn of the Dawn Horse)” 1937. “I’m like a hyena, I get into the garbage cans. I have an insatiable curiosity.” – L.C.
That camel toe beckons from her white jodhpur pants like an invitation, but of course, it’s not. Instead, she extends her hand to the hyena’s toothy mouth, sits in the blue chair, the color of its eyes. Out the window, a galloping white mare, forest-bound. You’re that horse, Leonora says. I’ve set you free. And she? The hyena, she sighs. She paints herself as hermaphrodite, her elongated clit, that trio of dugs hanging from her belly. Today when she reaches for me, I see who’s coming. Dark and cunning. Like her avatar. So unlike yesterday, when we lay together in the high grass, the thin September light, straw yellow, her face shading mine. You’re ravishing, I said; she did not believe me. I stroked the wild hair from her forehead, planted kisses on her pulsing throat, tugged those white pants down past her hips. Mercurial, intent on pleasure. How can I not adore her? I open like a filleted animal. Don’t play me, Leonora warns, when I gush over the horse, delight in how she portrays me. See the smudge, lower left? She points to a smear at the painting’s edge where a figure once lived. I decided I didn’t like her anymore. It could have been you.
Alexis Rhone Fancher has published in Best American Poetry, Rattle, Verse Daily, Plume, Diode, Poetry East, Nashville Review, and elsewhere. She’s authored five poetry collections; most recently, Junkie Wife (Moon Tide Press, 2018), and The Dead Kid Poems (KYSO Flash Press, 2019). Her photographs are featured worldwide. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. For additional information, visit www.alexisrhonefancher.com.