In the morning, I eat grapes and
sip black coffee. I want
my arms to be as narrow as
a staircase in a tower.
There is a lot to sit with, here:
namely, is it me
or them who place my limbs
in a small glass jar
and walk away? The future is history,
I once read. And
if that’s true, I’ll collect stares
like coins until I weigh
three hundred pounds. Again, I’ll
sit and try
to cross my legs in a modest way.
Again, I’ll avoid doctors,
continue to prefer predicted death by
heart attack to shame.
The truth is, I think I’ll outlast
sidewalks, keep bleeding
every month until I’m out
of possibility. Like grass
edging a building, I’ll learn to love
Meriwether Clarke is a poet, essayist, and educator living in Los Angeles, California. She holds degrees in poetry from Northwestern University and UC Irvine’s Programs in Writing where she served as co-editor-in-chief and Poetry Editor of Faultline Journal of Arts and Letters. Recent work can be seen in Prairie Schooner, Tin House, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, The Journal, Gigantic Sequins, The Superstition Review, and Poetry Daily, among others. She has been a scholarship resident at the Vermont Studio Center and a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her chapbook, twenty-first century woman, was released from Dancing Girl Press in 2019.