“The Dracaena Plant in My Apartment on Beachwood Dr.” by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Alexis Rhone Fancher

THE DRACAENA PLANT IN MY APARTMENT ON BEACHWOOD DR.

1.
when I see I’ve overwatered it again, I jab
the turkey baster into the rust-colored runoff
before the water spills over,
onto the hardwood floor.

in our mid-town apartment,
the harsh light sears the spiky leaves.

it reminds me of summer,
when you left me here on Beachwood Dr.
and I shot Demerol
my rust-colored blood backing up in the syringe,
the same pierce of yellow light,
the sharp spike breaking my skin.

2.
I remember what you said about overkill,
how I could love a thing to death.

my jaundiced face mirrored
the ailing yellow of the dracaena’s tired leaves,
the green of it, peaked. off-color.
my sad visage the hue of drowning,
the flood of the Demerol too much like
pleasure.

3.
the dracaena hides a stain
on the hardwood floor in the
shape of a man. A murky, splayed patch
between the closet and the bed.

since you disappeared, some nights
I lie down on that stain,
my body mimicking the way I’d lie
on top of you, arms and legs akimbo.
I imagine you, oozing out
onto the hardwood, a mess.

Under duress,
the landlord admitted that a dead man had lain there
till long past rigor, seeping fluids
like an overwatered plant
till he and the floor had organically
merged into one.

from Rattle #52, Summer 2016
Tribute to Angelenos

[download audio]

__________

Alexis Rhone Fancher: “I’m a lifelong Angeleno, and L.A. figures prominently in my poems—the sprawl, the desert heat, the plethora of Beautiful People, the subtle tension between we natives and the transplants, who show up in my city with Big Dreams.” (website)