Five Poems – Anna Meister



Permanent marker
is how these pills smell, 
how I know they are 
dangerous. Bitter

half-moment dissolving 
quickly into I am going 
to get better. Just think

of all the bread I’ll bake! 
Loaves in the oven rising, 
wisp of flour on my cheek. 
It’s like a movie, this

world where I stay, hands 
making a song of wellness. 
In the future I change

my sheets on the regular 
because I love myself 
and understand
the power of washing.

Here, I walk across the park 
no problem. Haven’t cried 
all week. I count

small blue discs, swallow 
proudly. I didn’t apologize 
when you banged

your elbow on the table 
because it wasn’t even 
a little bit my fault.


Stars tell me I should move. I’d like to
box it all up & never have to see a stranger
in a towel again. I count two birds on a limb,
somehow safe from the storm. I open a book I love,
the one that lives in my bag more often than not.
Genius-holy, the glow of quiet work could be
my new mantra, as I’ve been here all day
at my desk of blankets talking to no one.

It took a lot to climb from the hole I sank into
when I heard the chords about losing
a baby & pictured woods where I walked
then, trees stripped white as the yard. I had
to listen to a song called Good Day
in order to try & have one. Even now I can’t
stop smelling the air full of rain, dizzy
gray sky for miles. I blame the candle
for the room becoming a cathedral of pine.


I am the bullet 

They bent down to pull from themselves

I am worth it a long time before the slivered moon / blade we cannot see

I think from here it changes 

Too many this year with something to offer you

As if smoking on that is what the world is for

But then you can’t do what I do / smooth 

& sometimes it

Be like that / further off 

In the clouds it fucks with you

Shore littered with what is small & white 

Never loan somebody what you need 

Or prepare to examine the head gone

I don’t like to think of a man in jail like a window

Your ear between my teeth: reckless / glad for nothing

Only a woman could make your hands


I worry                my face closes

the book      a reminder     I wear

     every single blade

your shoulders      repeat       

            angel           angel        

at least I have taught you        you can lose

a fake friend     your real friends?

             shapeless things

dear heart                hold without explaining

I am unfolding          money          fans

           the staircase of my body


I didn’t mean to say 
so much of how I feel
I should have instead 
thought to ask myself 
why do you look at stars 
like worry you know 
I’m the same blue 
& I know you don’t 
love me there is much 
to take away from this 
only I didn’t mean to speak 
over my dead & if I could 
take that back I would 
replace it with the thinness 
I thought I found 
girl of my dreams what 
I let slip I was wrong 
like any star I do not 
always do what I intend 
some days say so much 
you lose out before 
I come you know I want 
it all & then some 
or do we always 
perhaps it’s true 
& all along I don’t 
know where I was 
the stars seem filled in
& you the real angel 
I’m just the field.

About Anna Meister

Anna Meister is an MFA candidate in Poetry at New York University, where she serves as a Goldwater Writing Fellow. A Pushcart Prize & Best of the Net nominee, her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Third Point Press, Barrelhouse, Powder Keg, The Adroit Journal, & elsewhere. A 2015 Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts Fellow, Anna lives & works in Brooklyn. View all posts by Anna Meister

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