Poetry: Single Women by Yasmine Ameli

In “Single Women,” the speaker remembers a time when there were no men around to encourage “the pretension of our modesty.” Instead, freedom and liberation reign, as the women “roamed the house…with or without bath towels or underwear.”


Single Women

After the men left

and with them the pretension

of our modesty,


we roamed the house with blouses

buttoned up en route,

with or without bath towels


or underwear, wet with premenstrual

discharge, wiggled off

in the kitchen, fresh cotton


shimmied up the hips mid-

conversation, my mother noting

you got your hanging labia


from your grandmother,

just as from her I got my eyes:

two almonds: green and brown.


Yasmine Ameli

Yasmine Ameli is an Iranian American writer from Worcester, Massachusetts. She holds a BA in English from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Virginia Tech. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, AGNI, Narrative, Black Warrior Review, Mizna, and elsewhere. Find her at yasmineameli.com and on Instagram @yasmineameli.

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