Poems from Diana Rosen




full of rhythm

so fascinating

to Jasper Johns

drawing, painting,

sculpting them into

dull silvery statements

deep black matte remarks

full-bodied, slim on top, a

woman. Six is a woman,

pregnant with, not life,

something more, the

sum of the


Blueprint for Beauty

She is twenty,

has two babies, and a divorce from a man

she loves but cannot live with his "mental

un-health." Translation: fists, frightening

the girls, forbidding her to accept a full

scholarship for a chemistry degree.

The good news:

her mom agrees to take care of the kids

when she finds work at a doctor’s office

where he (it was always a he back then)

takes her under his wing and under

the desk for his daily satisfaction.

He instructs her to be blond, chisel

the Roman nose, risk it sniffing white

powder. Recognizing her manual dexterity,

he teaches her his skills to freshen faces

for the screen, brighten hope for the newly-

discarded with too much money, too little to do.

Now she is forty,

submits to his needles even when it

does not sustain his desire. Her girls,

bitter about their perceived abandonment,

appreciate her home-made tiramisu,

the occasional, only occasional, check.

They’re in awe of her continued faith

in The Church, that she’s avoided laws

governing her un-certified (though well-

trained) skills for those “little somethings”

supervised by cosmetic surgeons for patients

not yet ready for their full menu of services.

Now she is sixty,

off to Zumba class after work, her five-inch-high

red-soled Louboutins click on the sidewalk;

her colorful tights shape her size two frame;

her still softly blond hair frames her wrinkle-less

face, prick marks painted over with creamy

(imported) make-up. The doctor? He died,

leaving the wife everything but her pride,

leaving our heroine as deep in denial as she

was forty years ago. No, there never was

anyone else. I had to keep my job, for the girls,

for our livelihood. I didn’t know what else to do.

Moving On

Here, take the Mikasa.

You always liked it more than the Dansk;

And all the silver.

I hate polishing it, you find that meditative

Rubbing away the tarnish after exposure

Like all those things we never spoke of.

And, the television,

You love those damn animal shows.

I wouldn’t want you to miss a single one.

And, some sheets and towels.

Everyone needs

clean sheets and towels.

Lean the mattress against the tree

Outside, like a kid playing hide-and-seek

Afraid to be found.

There. Everything’s settled.

We’re done.

Done. Done.

About Diana Rosen

Diana Rosen has published essays, flash fiction, and poems in more than sixty publications including RATTLE, Tiferet Journal, and Soft Cartel, plus a half-dozen anthologies including Altadena Poetry Review, Those Who Can ...TEACH, and the award-winning, Kiss Me Goodnight. She lives and writes in Los Angeles where she also provides online content for food and beverage web sites.


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