Issue #3 // REASONS WHY // Anna Meister

voice like crackling embers / legs
that once worked / hair & fat
face in old pictures on the staircase / how you are
my brother there / years measured
in homemade pizzas / balls of dough
resting / sauce thick
on the stove / The secret’s in the sauce
how you grinned like we were the only two
who knew / How many soldiers died in the Civil War?
Four hundred & ninety nine thousand, three hundred
& thirty two!
is the answer / all these facts & figures / numbers
that won’t leave my head / you
sneaking a cigarette
behind Grandpa’s shed / standing on steroids
citronella whiff / roses sent each year / the note
You don’t have to tell anyone these are from me
every basketball game taped / just to be safe / VHS tower
around your body / the special chant
for your college team / whole house dressed in yellow & red
‘cause those Cyclones got that mumbo jumbo
ooh ahh!
/ oh the smell of hospitals
when you began / your leaving
church bells chiming How Great Thou Art
how the parents chose cremation
so they wouldn’t have to bury their son / plastic fork
labyrinth / blue urn / your children cried
with their toes in the ocean / you
scattered over golfing green
& bridges to the ocean’s different
blue / how my mother
cut off all of her hair


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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