Two Poems by Anne Callahan

Los Angeles

She has let herself go
Sprawled in all directions

Out of control

Her inner core is black tar
Bubbling to the surface

Where it can’t be covered with asphalt
Or clothed with sod and flowers

Her face is well-preserved
Botoxed, waxed, and plucked

Nip and tucked

Always undergoing some change to rejuvenate

Her nails are manicured and painted
Shaped, filed, and re-fit

She wears wigs

Her eyes have turned from blue to filmy gray
Watery brown on some days

Her breath blows warm and moist
Acrid on some days

Her skin is sun bathed

She shows her age
But hides her history
Under her renovations and restorations

She is continually resurrected

Her heart pulses and throbs – fibrillates
It sustains life, from canyons to waters’ edge
Is she on the verge of collapse?
You decide.




If I could bring you back for a day
I would cook meatballs with you

Standing at your white Wedgewood stove
Covered in your spatter-stained apron

Listening to you telling me
How brown to get them
When they should be turned
How to remove them
Without burning my hands

Your kitchen’s smells would surround me
Spaghetti sauce
Roasting meat

The square paned kitchen windows would be moist
with steam
Filling the kitchen and
And snaking through the house

I would be warm and happy
Surrounded by your food-love
Cooking my meatballs contentedly
And with great purpose

Anne Callahan