You said there are so many places we should explore,
yet you never tried to sleep with me. Such a blessing
as the smell of apples, scorched grass in Western Mass.
I was once a shortage of limes dragged to bed by sadness.
You said whiskey coffee, time to swim. Water over breasts
a twisting cold, your mouth as if a motor. Illegal, this
learning how to live. I took those months
for my messy acts, pulled from walls of rotting houses,
waiting impatiently for the drawn empty sky
to dry like a skillful apology or a joke.
The hardest I’ve worked
today is chewing this
granola bar. It’s so hard
as in impossible. Summer
is haunting us with her lips
painted bright pink. I skip
multisyllabic around the village
before waking. When I look
and have lost hours
I’d planned for. When I get
like this. I’m exhausting,
exhausted. As if the bowl
of blackberries waiting
for gin poured over.
No brainer, they call it
as I hide from the ex
who did me worst. How bright
the fireworks were that night.
Spent body spent months
kissing until rotten, beyond.
Why is this the story
I seem to need to tell?
Sucking on an olive pit as avoidance, the subject
inevitable. Your former girl, your never-quite.
Sloshing about, whole city a swamp in late July.
Used to be always. Know when you lean in close,
it’s not wrong exactly. No need for confession.
Just don’t let it happen locked into jazz. Blue
house at the bottom of the hill holding blood
orange gin and remember the time I was just a shape
folded over your toilet? Glasses gone in grass
for a near week, I blindly boarded that plane. Cut to
laurel leaves, eighteen months as if a moment.
We stood in fall sun under the arch
and it did feel significant, staring out at empty chairs
I once lit a blunt south of there, got all bitten up.
That was enough for me. You always crave
the next adventure, the next. I know I’m special
because he does not want me.
He just wants me happy.
Anna Meister is author of the chapbook NOTHING GRANTED (dancing girl press, 2016) & holds an MFA in poetry from NYU. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Day One, Big Lucks, Tinderbox, Vanilla Sex Magazine, & elsewhere. She lives in Des Moines, IA & at www.anna-meister.com.