A missing person has the right to be missing, she told me right before she disappeared. What does that even mean? I asked the detective. And how long am I supposed to mourn before moving on? He hung his head. Shrugged. Since my lover left without a trace, I watch Unsolved Mysteries to feel less alone. I take pleasure in finding people even sadder and more bereft than I. It’s taught me that grief never ends, no one escapes. Everyone just makes do. Sometimes I enjoy watching my fellow survivors, their fumble and fall, and compare their loneliness and devastation to mine. I almost always win. Those stock platitudes, she’d light up a room; or she’d give you the shirt off her back (oh really?) And me, already mentally undressing her upper half. Underwired? Lacy? Deliciously sheer? Or schoolgirl immaculata ie J.C. Penney’s no nonsense, white cotton, with matching undies? These are the questions that consume me. Naughty? Or nice? Something to think about, long hours spent searching for my lost love, following every clue. I tune in John Walsh’s In Pursuit, a spin-off of America’s Most Wanted, desperate for leads. I want to be Most Wanted. Why can’t it be me? Look, it get lonesome on the road. A bit of mental stimulation – always a welcome distraction.
I imagine her suddenly surfacing, mid-highway, flagging me down like Natalie Wood in Rebel Without A Cause. Like one of those racy femmes on the cover of True Crime novels. “She was a cruel mistress, … cloaked in darkness, a she-devil, stalking her prey!” — a lurid scrawl across the back cover. The siren on the front looks surprisingly like my beloved. You can’t miss her. Dark hair. Pale skin. A slash of red lipstick. A girl so perfect you’re almost glad when bad things happen.
Copyright 2023 Alexis Rhone Fancher
Alexis Rhone Fancher and her husband live and collaborate on the bluffs of San Pedro, CA, twenty five miles from downtown L.A. They have a spectacular view.Her poetry collections include Erotic: New and Selected.
Wonderful poem, A. Right out of the noir tradition.