Anna Mebel

Instead of Longing



Kissing in strange houses

and fucking at dawn—


the hardest memory

to erase is that of taste.


The sour taste of another

mouth taints waking up alone,


the clothes on the floor

the shape of melted wax.


Girl at the bar wearing all black

and blue earrings says that memory


wouldn’t exist without death. Years ago

I read that what you remember


doesn’t matter, as long as you have

something to turn over in your head


on the drive to work

or in line at the store—


memory as taxidermy,

an internal museum.


Waking up from a dream

of hands in me—enough.


Not this. Instead, come,

something like forgetfulness,


like the smell of rain

after a long stretch of cold.


ANNA MEBEL is an MFA candidate in poetry at Syracuse University. Her writing has appeared in Tin House Open Bar, Bodega, 90s Meg Ryan, SAND Journal, and TAMMY.