Anna Meister


from As If


My dreams are a prison of insults re: how I look 
in horizontal stripes. The beloved keeps shifting 

as I reach for my wallet. And still what I’m working through 
becomes increasingly straightforward. I am sitting at a desk, 

in a booth, lying down. Like thank you for sending this, 
we’ll take our sweet time
. As if time can have 

a taste. Erase the body by the bridge, I say, that bike 
I never rode. Clicking through photos I watch us get younger.  

Everyone shouting Shout! and so on. We look like we might be
hoping. Like she did, does no longer. Is to was and the day done too 

with no laundry completed. Writing into what is cold and gray 
and angle-less. All day I stitch, attempting to keep things 

together. I can’t actually stop breathing. The light filtered 
through leaves feels just like leaves falling on my body.



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 Kenyon ReviewDay OneTinderbox, & elsewhere. A recipient of fellowships from the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts & NYU, Anna lives in Des Moines, IA & at