How to Be Single

by | Aug 11, 2020 | Issue Sixteen, Poetry

Wear tighter pants and shorter jackets.   She was told by a (somewhat) reliable   

                                                                        source (a single male) that her habit of

                                                                        wearing pants two sizes too big, and long

                                                                        sweater jackets that nearly reach her knees

                                                                        (which perhaps were fashionable in the 90s,

                                                                        though she’s not really sure) is attracting

                                                                        the wrong kind of attention.

Body hair is your enemy.                             (During her hippie phase, she stopped

                                                                        shaving her armpits.) Now she scrutinizes

                                                                        every hair with a hand mirror, razor, and

                                                                        tweezers. She may stop shaving her armpits  

                                                                        as an act of defiance, an act of proclaiming     

                                                                        her freedom.  

Feel comfortable being alone.                    No matter how hard she tries to act cool

                                                                        while sitting at the bar alone, sipping wine,

                                                                        or worse, drinking a margarita in a loud  

                                                                        cantina, she will not be cool, she will not be

                                                                        comfortable. She notices the other single     

                                                                        women and feels camaraderie, and a sad,   

                                                                        strange kind of love.

Move into a small, yet                                  She’s grateful to her aunt for letting

ultra-hip apartment in                                 her live in her basement.

the trendiest part of town.

Decorate with lots of vintage

throw pillows.                

Do all the things you didn’t do                   What adventures call?              

when you were a couple.                            She hikes alone, but she watches her back.

                                                                        When a strange man appears on the trail

                                                                        (without a dog, without a companion, or

                                                                        child) she’s certain she will be strangled      

                                                                        and dragged into the forest, and that her                

                                                                        body will never be found.                                                                     

        

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