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  You could have a big dipper   

Some Lines Written Close to New Year’s, 2021 by Anna Press

Pack up the overly precious and productive,

and let’s walk away from the center of things.

Let me pick up takeout from a place

with compostable containers. We’ll eat on the floor

of someone’s new apartment because the sofa

hasn’t arrived yet; we’ll admire the kitchen

and what you’ll do with all that counter space,

the right height for fucking: make your own pasta

or mountains of sugar cookies gently glazed

with a simple frosting. We’ll drink champagne

from the smallest cups that match in your cupboard.

I’m not hoping for adventure anymore,

just to make meaning, just not to be bored,

or afraid, or somewhere worse, listless.

When I ask my students about their goals,

intentions, wishes, some offer private riches

raised steadfast since before the first frost.

We’ve been trudging longer than that.

Others say no, why wait for a new year

to better yourself? Why wait to turn the page.

I wonder that sometimes too, when I look at my life

from the bathroom floor and wonder if and where

I’ve gone wrong. I say I don’t know what I want,

and often that’s true, but then there is this.

The precipice of the unknown, the devil you don’t,

an avalanche of uncertainty and a knife-edged

fingernail grazing the tip of your throat. I used to wonder

what would happen in the future: I prayed for lovers

I named for flowers, I made lists, I studied, I cried,

I went to bed angry, I flayed myself open to intimacy.

Soon I’ll have done all the things I feared I shouldn’t,

and now the blank page of the year seems cold

and quiet, like walking outside in the snow

with boots soaked through, a night when you forgot

your gloves. Your glasses have long since fogged up

and your pink seared cheeks are smarting. You just

need to get home. It will be different in the morning.


Anna Press is a writer and educator from Los Angeles, CA. She loves crafting, dogs, and succulents. Her poems, CNF, and reviews can be found in Perhappened, Daily Drunk Mag, Porcupine Literary, and elsewhere! Talk to her on Twitter @annaepress

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