by Alexis Rhone Fancher

1. Like my love life, L.A. is in a perpetual state of drought.

It’s a crime to water the lawn.

2. Rumors of coyotes overrun the neighborhood.

When they lose their fear of humans, they mingle,
associate people with food, water.

3. My cat’s photo is on a milk carton.

The scattered remains of lost lovers and household pets
litter my dreams.

4. Coyotes have rights, too, my neighbor says,
when I complain about the carnage. His Chihuahua’s leash
hangs on the door.

5. When the famous poet arrived from West Virginia, stood at our sink,
soaped his hands over and over, water gushing out of the tap,
I kept quiet as long as I could.

This is L.A., for fuck’s sake, I said at last.

6. The white, alpha dog next door is silent for once,
his cohort, the yappy Dachshund, strangely missing.

7. The last time I bathed without guilt, in a full tub of water,
the century had just turned.

For J.G.