Twenty-first Century Woman | Meriwether Clarke

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Meriwether Clarke is a poet and essayist living in Los Angeles. Her work has recently been seen in The Michigan Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Gigantic Sequins, The Superstition Review, The Journal, Prelude, Memorious, Juked, and elsewhere. She holds degrees in poetry from Northwestern University and UC Irvine’s Programs in Writing.




The grocery store is where lonely people

go at night. We skim the aisles like nets
on a pool

not looking for much besides the touch
of a stranger’s shoulder

brushed against ours. I can’t say why I think
this will happen

if I stand beside a chip display for just
enough time.

But when I do, there is some small pleasure
in the way

fluorescents shine on cellophane bags.
It’s not

that different than when the parking lot light
catches my hair

as I slouch toward my car. A man nearby winks
and I, too,

am something to hide his solitude behind, to wish
he could buy.