Issue #3 // MEMORY OF HALF-TRUTHS // Anna Meister

In the station, I bought a coffee
just to keep my hands warm
& placed my head on your shoulder
in a different way than I could before

we’d slept together. When it came,
I pretended not to realize I was
still wearing your soft brown jacket,

the one you found years back
& modeled for your first love
with the collar up & your eyes
as if looking straight into smoke.

I picked a seat with a window,
spotted you with hands
in pockets, half-grinning. Maybe

you were blinking away
a tear. I did that thing
where I mimed taking a picture,
made the clicking sound & all

even though you couldn’t hear me
do it. I stared for a moment
with my thumbs & pointer fingers

holding the imaginary camera.
You smiled at me with your whole mouth.
In the back of my notebook,
I drew circles until the pen bled black.

Jacob, I wrote, My stomach is already sinking
with a missing so real. I cannot bear
to look up & check if you’re still

standing by the track or if you’ve left
for the escalator. But then I did
peek, saw you there. I love you,
I wrote & quickly scribbled over.

I wrote You are my very best friend
& underlined it twice. That morning
in the shower, I rubbed hard

green soap your grandmother bought
into the dark mess of your armpit hair,
thick & curled as gourd stems. I sang
about how I’d rather go blind. You held

my breasts like two river rocks
you’d found & polished yourself.
We sighed for the newness of it all,

our able & searching hands tracing
highway routes on maps. When the train
pulled out, your face became a ribbon
dancing down a windy street.

—————————————————————

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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