in so many years
little child in a fancy dress cries at panera
her name is sonia because everyone
keeps saying oh sonia
on my leg there’s a biking bruise
the size & color of a plum
oh sonia the attractive man at the party
of course has a girlfriend
sonia is no longer crying
but spooning up her soup
I will be twenty-four in less than a month
I’m closer to my mom’s age
when she had me than to yours
oh sonia for dinner I’ll sauté eggplant
I will watch some TV I will miss
something I’ve never had
It ice-rains, rain-snows.
The omelet tastes too much
like the olive oil
it fries in. I need
to stop mythologizing
mediocre men, though
everyone does it.
My mom considers
I argue that if there is excess,
then it’s a kind of power,
and she tells me
love is not a precipice
to jump from.
I remember going to Venice
and thinking, I’ve never seen
this kind of blue, this kind
of pink before. I look
at my bone-tree landscape
in the city where every road
leads to a cemetery.
If there is joy here,
it is in the space
between the branches.
I haven’t returned to family, to the sea
in three years, though every time I hear
a seagull on a sunny day, I’m back
to when I used to swim in the Black Sea
through a bloom of harmless jellyfish,
when I learned the slippery textures of the world.
Despite a predilection for moping,
I relish the intimacy of minute pleasures—
finding new back roads home,
drinking diet coke in the car to a Strokes song
from 2001. In 2001, I lived in Taiwan and went
to American school. I pronounced my Vs as Ws.
I had a collage of a childhood—a series
of worn couches of indeterminate color
stationed in cramped apartments,
the smells of stinky tofu, then kvass,
then fried plantains in the streets.
American now, I own thirteen pairs
of jeans. Last night, I drunk-ordered
a chambray romper. It didn’t
make me happier or sadder—
maybe happier, briefly,
in the act of dissolving money
into inessential thing.
While pregnant with me, my mom had a dream of giving birth to a monkey.
I resolve to practice the minimum of desire.
Deep in the ocean, there are ghost-eyed sharks and fish whose heads are translucent domes.
In 2017 I will wear tortoiseshell glasses, and that is all I know about 2017.
Sky Scraped Clean
in an idling car smoking
in the dark my friend and I
talk about believing in god
but also not
at a party I explain
that the poems I love
reconfigure the world
with the blank face of an egg
why this particular spot
and not where the goats
all this talking while I consider
the particular expanse of my life
its this-not- that-ness
the incidental November sun makes
the road into a mirror
I accidentally break
a plate waiting
for my phone to light up
Anna Mebel is the author of the chapbook Eradicate Sex Chemicals! (dancing girl press). She lives in Syracuse, NY, where she's an MFA candidate in poetry at Syracuse University. Her writing has appeared in Pinwheel, Juked, Potluck Magazine, and elsewhere.