Cathy Allman

She Thought the Camera Loved Her What his camera capturedwas squarely framed. The black-and-white developed into a womanwho had her bone structure,long legs, windblown hair,faded jeans and wide eyes.Her broken parts escaped his shot.She kept those to herselfthe way she still does.Good subject, good student,good practice but she never learnedF-stops, lenses, the science of lightor the camera craft of their film school.She had trained to be on screen.He majored in cinematography.When, too many decades later,she was surprised by the ghostof his name as credits rolled,something inside her singedby the dredged-up scaldand scorched stenchof feathers and wax wingsso close to the sunabove the Hollywood sign.
Wonder Woman She was a volunteer acting coachon Monday nights at a teen group homewhere residents had confidential manila foldersthat she wasn’t cleared to read. For all she knew,the girls were like the private students she’d taught.They sat in blue jeans and T-shirts in a circleon the stained shag rug. She had no realmicrophone, but with her fingerswrapped around emptiness, the nothing insideher fist was the pretend into which they answeredher news reporter question—Tell meabout your superpowers? she askedlike a real helmet-haired newscaster.The girls weren’t faster than a speeding bulletor able to leap tall buildings in a single bound,but for their one hour, they declared they had magicmirrors, and time travel watches.I can cure sickness with a single kiss.And the next day on her driveto her real job, scheduling TV commercials,her thoughts were lost to the class,where whoever tuned in to listen, heardI make flowers grow through concrete with tears. Cathy Allman entered the writing field as a reporter after attending the school of Cinema and Television at the University of Southern California. While her career shifted gears from writing to advertising and marketing, she never stopped writing or attending workshops, eventually earning an MFA from Manhattanville College. Her poem, “Not in the Wonder Box” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.