Anna Meister

Anna Meister bio coming soon!

 

Three Poems (April 11, 2012. Issue 36. The Late Issue)

Responsibility, an Ars Poetica

I must use stanzas like a net
to capture the laughter of my roommates
or my lover or my childhood self
like fish, to pinpoint those sounds
and tell you how they are the familiar
buzz of needle hitting record, or clinking
glass marbles, the sigh of an uncorked bottle.
I must make you hear them, too.

I must make you care about
how Jesus was my family's earthquake,
how I rebuilt my back from a riverside
pile of bones. I must make you fall in love
with the word salt, make you taste it.

I must write sad poems about
how my heart is a chipped mug
or a wailing church organ
so that you nod and say,
Yes, and mine. And I must also
write happy poems about waking
with him like knotted rope
because things are good
more often than they are not.

I must remember everything
so I can write about my mother's garden
and a world smelling solely of tomato
vine and put you there. You can stand
by the sage while she sits on her knees
pulling up creeping charley. I must
make you hear the Motown swimming
from the kitchen, make you see my father's body
moving about the room like a wind chime.
I must tell you of my thirst for late Iowa
summer and you must also be thirsty.

I must tell you all my secrets, bring
you truth in clenched teeth, tonguing
the previously untold, all the things
I have saved just for you. You must say
Thank you, and mean it.

What I Love

What my mother calls piano hands,
stretching spindly spider
fingers across octaves
of slippery keys
& oak barrels or rolling hills
for hips, belly soft and delicate
as a poached egg. & legs
longer than any other part of me,
smooth stone or prickly vine,
depending on the day, decorated
like my mother's, with marks
colored like the flesh of stone fruit
from bumping into desk corners
& stairwells & who knows what
& those moles on my cheek,
my breast, my neck,
speckles of cinnamon over
this almond milk skin.
& the serious fall one Summer
that led to the once shattered & forever
crooked spine my lover loves
to run fingers down, lingering
on the knots & gaps, a ladder with
a missing step.

Promise

we lay in the intertwining calm of after,
all candlelight flicker over my milk
and his honey. him, handsome
like a stranger with a strong jaw
in an old faded photograph. me,
flushed and lucky. his hands
linger on the softer parts of me
as I tongue the salted corners
of his frame. he praises my patience,
my eyebrows, the swell of my hips.
our noses touch and grins match wide
as we whisper about the future,
but without the stomach flip urgency
of youth. instead, two whole, grown
bodies, beings with great love
of numbers and language,
respectively, who have chosen
braided fingers, partnership
stretching across three hundred miles
of East coast highway. we curse
not the distance over the coming moons,
but dream up stick sweat Summers,
the promise of a shared bed.
a third floor walk up in Philly.
or California. we could see
the ocean together
, he
whispers, kissing my ear.
we hum home in the dark,
knowing nothing is certain
but the alignment of these bones,
our only goal that we might wake
for the next thousand mornings
with this continuing hunger for
one another's lips.

The Legendary