Two Poems ~ poetry by Kathleen Hellen

toward the end we sit together in the darkness

The heavy curtains drawn, the sun a wash like clorox on the screen boxed in the console. I sip a cabernet, the way my mother used to do to accompany the hours of the Zenith. My father with the don’t-touch-the-remote at his elbow. The cuff, the tray with pilled pockets. He likes Lupino best, her films before the war, before noir changed everything. Where’s Lupino? over and over, while I check the listings, change the channels, change the digitally remastered landscapes on the Zenith. He’s wrapped up like an infant in a blanket, wrapped up in the past. There’s only one thing I regret, he says, barely audible above the volume…what? What? but he’s gone, looking for the face that is nothing like my mother’s.


an interpretation of natural occurrences

On the horizon of the
bifocal, I’ll wear camouflage
into the seasons of granola. Bank
CCTV surveillance cameras, bat
invasions, fence electric

—and here
beside the bed—because security’s
not social—a small-caliber with military specs.

Kathleen Hellen’s collection meet me at the bottom is forthcoming in Fall 2022 from Main Street Rag. Her credits include The Only Country Was the Color of My Skin, her prize-winning collection Umberto’s Night, and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento. Featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, her work has appeared in Ascent, Barrow Street, The Carolina Quarterly, Colorado Review, jubilat, LEON Literary Review. New Letters, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, Subtropics, The Sycamore Review, and West Branch, among others. For more on Kathleen, visit