Recent Work By Hannah Wehr

You had weapons for cheekbones
a killer swagger in leather pants
fingers like the Nightstalker
and eyes that asked for nothing

You were black piano keys
the smell of gasoline
Berlin at the fall of the wall
Troy at the fallacy of the gift
I would have fought a war to save that face

A mind like Screwtape and a form like mortal sin
you took everything and loved nothing
incomplete, human parts missing
as dead as you are deadly

We spared and struck
threatened and clung
I learned you to My Bloody Valentine
you forgot me to Ziggy Stardust

Dude, you ruined David Bowie for me
you wound yourself around every song
and wrung the blood out of everything

I climbed the tower of you
threw myself out of the window
for the sake of the view

You metastasized through my life
illuminating and detonating
yours is a cancer of the glow in the dark variety
of the pretty boy variety
of the bare your wrists to me variety

People impale themselves on hope
for your kind of beauty
ruthless, thoughtless, insidious
you peeled women like apples
like we had a history old debt to you
like snakes were a fashion statement for the curious
like the gravity that only the dark knows how hustle.

First things first, is this an intentional look you are going for here?


Your jacket.

What about it?

You look like a lieutenant in whatever army Coldplay started.

Alright, alright. If it bugs you that much, I will take it off. There. That better?

A bit. But just so you know, wearing blue and white striped shirts makes you look like some kid of nautical bumblebee.

I think I was a pirate in a previous life. So are we seriously just going to talk about my clothes?

No, let’s talk about something else. What are your interests?


Fascinating. Why people find you interesting is beyond me.

In a world where carpenters get resurrected, anything is possible.

Do you always quote Katharine Hepburn lines when you can’t think of anything witty to say?

Can I have some wine?

No. Now what, in your opinion, is the best compliment you ever received?

An old man with a shrimp tail stuck in his beard called me a fire hazard.

What a fascinating story. You should write that down and tell it at parties.

I can talk about my dog. I am really good at talking about my dog.

What is his name?



No, Zissou. Like Captain Zissou from The Life Aquatic.

I see. Is your dog also an alcoholic submarine captain?

Only during the summer.

Anything else you like talking about?


What a riveting topic. What is your opinion of socks?

You should be totally unaware of my socks. That is, like, my philosophy on socks.

You are a total waste of my time.

Can I have some wine now?

A Life Done Wrong

By Hannah Wehr


At the age of 88, my heart will attack me 

82: all you really need are large handled jugs of chardonnay and cat food 

I am 71. I tell my husband that I understand. Sometimes the only thing we can control in life is how we kiss it good-bye. I sleep beside his body for two days before I call anyone


In my 62nd year I learn that mercy imposes no conditions


At the age of 58, my husband sleeps with a woman who is not me. I wring my heart out like a sock


56: I make casseroles for the homeless, read to underprivileged children, start a neighborhood recycling program. I wonder when I will feel something  

I am 52. I bury my mother. Two months later my son steps in front of a train with his arms outstretched like Christ 

In my 49th year, I become far too interested in the lives of celebrities. I buy a Crock-Pot. I make too much food and my family looks at this weird abundance in silence


At the age of 47, my life does not suit my shoes or my cigarettes. I go out to get canned pineapple and I come home with two cocker spaniels and a homeless man


41: my son tries to tell me something. I ask him to wait. And he waits for years. That winter while driving I run over a rabbit. I throw my cell phone into a field and have an affair


I am 34. I realize that I love anyone who reads to me

In my 31st year, I wonder if I care for anything. I wonder if I am hungry out of habit


At the age of 30 I have a son. I am afraid to touch him. I leave him in the bathtub for long periods of time


27: I marry because that is what is next in the natural progression of things. I will spend the rest of my life feeling like I am living in someone else’s clothes 

I am 22. I believe in God because I refuse to accept that seahorses are an accident


When I am 17, I make the choice to look like the type of trouble certain men choose to get into


12: I learn that these are only words and we never mean them


9: I am punished for bringing home a stray cat. I learn that it is a liability to love


7: I believe in snowmen. I hope for more


5: I learn to be quiet 

4: I believe that my mother’s red car will be a fire truck when it grows up 

1: I learn how to say no. Two decades later, I will forgot how 

And at the point when I first meet myself, I already know that my ghost bones are engraved with directions.