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