Wrong Number

Jolted from sleep, I lunge for the receiver.
Nancy! Nancy! Karen’s dead. What should I do?
What should I do? Tell him my name is Diana,
that he’s dialed the wrong number? I hang up
and now, some thirty years later, wonder:
Did I remember to say Sorry?

Today, when the phone rings late at night,
I think of this woman I never knew—but
end up remembering Anne instead, how she
dyed her hair blue—to match her eyes—
dated a bullfighter, danced barefoot
in the rain, dead at twenty-one—A suicide?
Perhaps. And how important it’s become to hoard
her memories. She mastered mirror writing,
cheated at solitaire, had a powerful handshake,
smelled like vanilla, wheezed when nervous,
and, when we crossed the street, always held my hand.

Diana AnhaltA former resident of Mexico City, Diana Anhalt moved to Atlanta, GA two years ago to be closer to her family. She is the author of A Gathering of Fugitives: American Political Expatriates in Mexico 1947-1965 (Archer Books), a chapbook, Shiny Objects, and essays, articles and book reviews in both English and Spanish. In September 2012 Future Cycle Press released her second chapbook, Second Skin and, most recently, her poems have appeared in Nimrod, Atlanta Review, Comstock Review and Passager.