by Anney E. J. Ryan

Published in Issue No. 185 ~ October, 2012

(Thoughts while looking into Claude Monet’s “Poplars on the Banks of the Epte, Sunset, 1891” at the Boston Museum of Art)



When I am in LA,

This is how it will be: Night.

No stars out.

Only haze.

What smog becomes the hour

The sun sets—a black slip

Sliding off

A hanger

And resting at the knee

Of a pink horizon.



When I am in LA,

This is how I will be: Drunk.

Cruising down

Palm-lined streets

With my three best girlfriends.

The trees shake like mad


Heads and with the top down

So do ours. Someone says,

“Doesn’t it

Feel like we’re

In a movie?” We cringe,

Because now – it’s doesn’t.



When I am in LA,

It will be: A bitch.


Suck for us.

We are never ready

When they say ready. Now?

We could act,

Cry on cue,

Hold each other, and do.

After Cuervo shots,

We confess

All our dreams,

Some of us start kissing.

Shirt ribbons part, and there

Are headlights

Inside the car.

The tide rolls up the beach

We drive straight into it.

Our bodies

Arc over

The windshield like dolphins,

Sing and swim ‘til sunrise.



When I am in LA,

It will be: Lonely.

I’ll get home

Before him,

Pace the empty rooms with

Cereal thundering

In my jaw.

I’ll study

Wedding portraits and wish

I’d said no. No to him.

No to LA.

Where the girls

Are so hot, they’ve turned me gay

And made him come home late.



When I’m in LA,

This is how it will be: bright.

I won’t see

In the pink

Sunlight. I’ll be melting,

Melting, and he will be

Too busy

To notice,

Just like he is right now.

Stoned and slumped on the couch


By Coke cans

Watching the same movie

He’s seen a million times.

Even though

He knows how

It will end: Typical

Hollywood bullshit.

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Anney E. J. Ryan has been writing poems and stories since the age of 7. At 34, she lives, writes, and teaches writing in Berks County, Pennsylvania. When not working, AEJR likes to ride her BMX bike, drink at her local fire company, and eat lots of vegetables. Check out her rants on health and nutrition at