How It Feels To Create


I know, darling. I know.

I know I am not her, the one you saw the other day, the girl who shocked a staccato tattoo into your fingertips, the one who stitched selective vision into your restless mind.

No, I was sitting out of your sight, tucked just to the left, my cheeks much rounder, temples hollowed to an unfinished tune, eyelids heavy from sleep-filled nights that refuse to yield rest, a thick head of hair atop a crisscrossed line of tense exhaustion.

Perhaps if you had turned towards me, you would have only seen my sharply carved figure, skin clinging like cologne on my clavicle, a grotesque cutout of the woman I may never be, sipping caffeine as if it could whisper life back into this existence I carry.

But I like to think that if we had somehow said hello, if you had given me a moment to explain, you would have learned that my ribs began running away from my spine years ago, so many pieces of myself incapable of reconciliation, a hollow sound of nostalgia always sitting in the back of my throat where childhood used to be.

Truly, I do not blame you for glancing past such a poorly constructed being, a quiet, frazzled thing, and my goodness, did my posture show it, so many echoes of brokenness in one exhale, never completely caught up with the most current sound of heartache. Still, if you happen upon me again, if you are somehow tricked into a closer look, I ask you to please take your time -

Let your eyes trace the magic that moves my hands to grow flowers from dust, the whispers of secrets and miracles that are braided into my brow as I read wonder along the lines of this life. Listen closely to the way that creation is always nestled on my tongue like hot tea steeping more potent with time. And my love, please hear me when I say That if such precious things

Do not shy away from my madness,
If they are at ease stretching vulnerably in the confines of my chaos,
Then it can only mean
That your first impression
Was wrong.

As it turns out
I must be quite
After all.

And I will not hold a breath of hope
For one moment longer
While you decide
Whether or not
The world agrees.

Words by Anna Lisabeth
My name is Anna Lisabeth, and I am a 22-year-old poet, artist, and terminal illness warrior living in Minneapolis, MN. I am always working hard to experience life through the perspective of creation. In a young life filled to the brim with unknowns and hard truths, art has molded itself around me, forcing beauty and light into my line of sight. Somewhere between words, images, and illustrations, my creative pursuits have developed into my greatest defense against the looming presence of unwelcome fear. While it can be difficult to place my work and struggles out in the open context of a public forum, I have found that there is wonderful privilege to be claimed when, once in a while, listeners respond with the simple phrase ‘me too’. It truly makes this work feel special, it makes it feel necessary. And I refuse to slow down, so long as that is true.

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