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
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
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.
Claire received her MFA in creative writing from Florida International University. Most recently her poetry has appeared in Mizmor Anthology, Fiolet and Wing: An Anthology of Domestic Fabulist Poetry, and Trailer Park Quarterly. Claire’s poetry chapbook Vortex of Our Affections was published by Finishing Line Press in 2017. Claire’s forthcoming novel Fragile Saints will be published by Adelaide Books in 2021. She lives and teaches in Colorado.