Anna Meister is author of the chapbook Nothing Granted (forthcoming, dancing girl press) & holds an MFA in Poetry from New York University, where she served as a Goldwater Writing Fellow. A Pushcart Prize & Best of the Net nominee, her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Offing, Kenyon Review, DIAGRAM, Vector Press, & elsewhere. A recipient of honors from the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Anna is based in Des Moines, IA.

Anna Meister's website.

Also by Anna Meister: Two Poems Making Sense from Nothing Granted

June 22, 2016

Anna Meister


If I didn't wait for you to connect the dots, never drank vodka in Ellyn's bed before whiskey in my own, if we never toasted to Klonopin before I cut my jeans into uneven short-shorts for the party, then I didn't dance over laps in a dark room with all the couches pushed against walls like drunk mouths, if I didn't have trouble walking back to the dorms, didn't say do it anyway when the stranger told me no more condoms, then I didn't regret it, didn't think the purple light romantic, compare my bruises to birds, show them off at first, if I didn't lose my words in a field for hours the day after, then I never had to be taken care of, didn't fall over on the way to the bathroom, if I didn't tell you the long list of what hurt, sing good lord it feels like I'm dying or slam the door & play Suicidal Thoughts on high, if I wasn't high, then I wasn't nineteen, it was never October, if I wasn't responsible for all the bottles strung from our backyard tree, if nothing evil was at work there, if I wasn't in debt to the hospital, if the letter wasn't addressed to my friend resting at the bottom of a well, I was never the friend, never planning so carefully to disappear, if no one left a book outside my room, if no one left, if my mother didn't come to save me, then she didn't have to come, if I never went to Vermont or ended up pinned down & once again purple, if we weren't walked in on, then it didn't get worse from there, there weren't mountains behind my eyes, if I wasn't quiet the whole ride home, if home was never Iowa, if I was never here, then this is not the memory

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