Nomadic language of grief,
uncle I cannot pin down
or dial. Dreams of my father
in the dirt. Lists of elegies,
buttons & marbles in Mason jars,
the progress of stacked books.
My nervous highway dance,
this sorrow-dog constellation,
this goodbye I pulled
from the darkness, unwrapped
like a chocolate.

I want to ask you things
about longing. About what to do
when the absence rots.
Stinks up the fridge.

How do we polish loss?
How much of me is a farm
I cannot sell? & will it always be
this way because I was born here? Here,
where the fields go & go until that line
with the sky like espresso foam.

If a laugh has a husk, it can be
shucked. What a summer
job, shucking laughter. Elbow-deep
in that itch. The stars will stay lit
for what I love & will never again
call my life.

Turns out there’s nothing I refuse
to remember. The hours are long
& braided. I am no longer
speaking of hair.

Someone says walls are ribcages,
lungs, necks & I nod. Say I’ve been
thinking of the house as body
for some time now, been thinking
about time like a snowstorm
or necklace.


Anna Meister

Julie FarstadYellow Rose (oil on clayboard)