Issue #3 // HATING THY NEIGHBOR // Anna Meister

Marty, an old woman, lived next door
with manicured rose bushes & breasts
like bags of rice & no visitors ever
& one dead son.

Once, she called the weed police
to say my family never mowed.
It wasn’t true, but they came
& looked & the whole street knew
what happened.

It made Mom cry in the yard & later
at the table where I touched her shoulder.

Through the window, old Marty
in her gray chair with only the TV light
to look her in the face.

Without hesitation, I hated her good.

I wished for terrible happenings, a pox
on her house, imagined killing
every bed of flowers.

With heat in my chest on Mom’s behalf,
this enemy. This new knowledge of how
to hold things & make her pain my own.
& I took so much

with my two small hands.


Anna Meister is an MFA candidate in Poetry at NYU, where she serves as a Goldwater Writing Fellow. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Sundog Lit, Souvenir, Whiskey Island, & elsewhere. Anna is a 2015 Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts fellow & lives in Brooklyn.


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