Anna Roberson

Last Scene

I was last seen
falling down the rabbit hole
at first it felt like blurry brake lights
on the Merritt parkway but
now my eyes are soggy and
my body is blank
my head is a house
my fingers are doorknobs
my collar bones are hollow
like the spaces between—
drifting down two
lane roads and
strawberry fields
nothing is real
my body is water
they pour mascara
tears down my throat
shower beads and
rain drops
collect in my lungs
my body doesn’t
exist I am
the dust on the ceiling
fan the crooked parked
car the gum on your
shoe the essay you
don’t want to write
the aisle seat the
Gieco commercial
I am the wrapping
paper they burn
the christmas tree
strewn on the curb
the snow on your windshield
the credits after
a cliffhanger
last scene: they never said there would be nights like these

Growing Pains

In the maze of
my mind lies
A supercut of
sixteen summers
the ache of August and
heavier nights—
lavender thoughts soundtrack
the strobing

Cloud children
the deadline of youth
the gold of the morning
the yellow asking

When does blue break?
when does the sun set?
over the guard rails
over and over again like a prayer

Sunday lays here
running fingertips over
catalogues on

Dentist lights and
dirty dishes seashell coins but
the meter is

So run up
the draw
to the sand castle
run from the
maze until

September turns
into the rest
of your life and
it’s time to wake up

The Muteness of November

There’s a twitch
in my left eye and
a greyness in my bones
I have 17 dollars
in cash and
not a thing to buy
the clouds are sighing
in cursive again
It’s high of 65-
there are strangers on the
sidewalk sidestepping
my stomach aches like
a year ago
nobody to call
only faucets see my hazel and
there’s change in my jaw
I broke my back
In a bath
tub and nothing
caught my fall
so I dreamt of dark green
pick up trucks and
exit lane haze
a hallmark to the highway,
a tragedy nowadays.
see the thing
about this story is
It’s a fist right
through the screen
It’s a signature
to the calendars
of hours left
you never did
send me that check
so I’ll keep my folded bills
but I wanted you to know
I left your sunlight
on the windowsill

Macro Photography for Beginners

The doctor says my
incisions will heal
if I swish salt
water around
in my mouth
there are wounds inside
of me and only salt sting
will heal them

My manager says
retail is theatre
cash registers are
curtains and the
customer’s always right
I’m only an extra
but I can’t be late
to rehearsal—

My art teacher says
macro photography is
greater than life
size, glasses clinking
and tires rolling
she doesn’t say
the camera misses
the tears after tinsel
the streets I learned to drive on

My tutor says sleeping
will make me smarter
so I go to bed at nine
dream of armies
kidnapping me with their curtains
locking me in their surgical chairs.

About the author: My name is Anna Roberson, I’m 17 and I’m a Junior at Bethesda Chevy Chase high school in Bethesda Maryland. I love creative writing as well as art and design, and have spent the past year focused on poetry. I participate in and intern for workshops at Writopia Lab DC, and I work on my high school literary magazine, Chips.  My work has been recognized by Polyphony Lit, Bethesda Magazine, Creative Communication and the Scholastic Art and Writing awards.