Two Poems by Diane Callahan

Makeup Palette

Dipping into those shades of my body
the labia pinks, polished collarbone
dirt beneath fingernails, left armpit mole
the lights and darks, colors I can’t blend
or won’t
trying it on for someone else
when I’d rather be colorless
like air, breathable air
and on my own
I’ll mix as I please.

A Study in Lavender

Cut off your limbs, grow in new soil. We are the not-yet-bloomed, the shoot in your side.
They tell us to calm the nervous system, so we make lavender lemonade, put a pot on to
boil, one cup lemon juice, fresh lemons, two cups water, cold water, strained, sugar so
you can swallow it down. Lavender on the wrists of prostitutes, lavender on the tongues
of heretics, lavender days and nights at the cabaret. We prune and prune and prune, but it
never softens the energy, only entices the open flame. Let us keep our domed shape, and
take our sprigs to your neighbors, the one with the weeded garden, the other who rules
over mud, and to the stone houses still standing after the wilting of time. Lavender will
remain at the end of the world, if you let your fingers caress the dirt, if you let its
fragrance bleed into the harvest. The seeds of flowers begin with your open palm.

Diane Callahan strives to capture her sliver of the universe through writing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. As a developmental editor and ghostplotter, she spends her days shaping stories. Her YouTube channel, Quotidian Writer, provides practical tips for aspiring authors. You can read her work in Translunar Travelers Lounge, Short Édition, Riddled with Arrows, Rust+Moth, The Sunlight Press, and semicolon, among others.

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