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Please note that this content is sexually explicit. We recommend that you should not read this content if you are offended by sexually explicit material.


I remember listening

to Bob Dylan in Donna Melville’s attic

bedroom, 3 a.m. We were

drinking her daddy’s bourbon, playing

Subterranean Homesick Blues over and over,

memorizing it word by mumbled word.

Johnny’s in the basement,

mixing up the medicine, I’m on the pavement, thinkin’ ‘bout  

the government… Donna passed me the bottle. The bourbon made me sick but I took a swig anyway. I didn’t want her to think I was a lightweight. The word might get



Maggie comes fleet foot, face full of black soot…


Donna took the bottle to her lips, her moon face flushed,

beautiful. She was my first Catholic and I was in

awe of the certainty of her faith, couldn’t take my eyes off

the lucky gold crucifix that dangled between her breasts.


‘What do you think Freewheelin’ means?’

We were on the bed, pretending to study

the album cover, Dylan and some blond on

a New York street, looking happy. ‘I think it means fuck the

consequences, just do what you want,’ I said.

Drunk, reckless, soon I’m ready to do what I want –

let my hand slip from the

album jacket to Donna’s left breast. Her sharp intake of breath. My tom-tom heart.


Look out kid, it’s somethin’ you did God knows when but you’re doin’ it again…


These were the moments I lived for at 13: the hot, disheveled solace

of Donna’s attic room, her clueless family asleep below,

Dylan’s growl on the stereo,

Donna in my arms, her lips on mine, her tongue down my throat,

Fingers fumbling with my zipper.



Get dressed get blessed try to be a success…



Donna hits the Confessional.

‘Father, forgive me for I have sinned.’


I am that sin. I listen in.


‘I kissed a girl,’ says my girl.

‘You’ll go to hell,’ says the desiccated

man in the box.



light yourself a candle…

you can’t afford the scandals…



The Gospel According To St. Donna:


She is the innocent,

I am the sin.

I am the bad girl

That let the sin in.



I remember listening

to Bob Dylan in Donna Melville’s attic

bedroom, 3 a.m., the last time I drank

her daddy’s bourbon, the last time we ever touched.

This was the moment I dreaded at 14: Afraid of

the spark, afraid of her own ignition –

Donna changed the rules.

Jesus had entered the bedroom.


‘See ya,’ Donna said as she walked me

out of her life.’“Soon?’ I asked. ( A girl can dream, right?)

‘Sure,’ she said.



She didn’t call.

I didn’t call back.


You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows…

Originally published in Cultural Weekly

© Alexis Rhone Fancher 2013

Image: Alexis Rhone Fancher

Image: Alexis Rhone Fancher

Find Alexis Rhone Fancher’s work in BoySlut, High Coupe, Gutter Eloquence, Tell Your True Tale, Good Men Project, Bare Hands, Poetry Super Highway, Le Zaporogue, Rattle, and elsewhere. Her photographs, published worldwide, include the covers of Witness and The Mas Tequila Review. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013, she is poetry editor of Cultural Weeklywww.alexisrhonefancher.com

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