POETRY by Ashley Farmer

Three Poems from The Women
by Ashley Farmer

Women Relax (And Be Yourselves)

Passionate women relax in a hotel bedroom. Steaming women relax in a natural hot spring.
Pregnant women relax at a summer camp. Passive women relax in a dry sauna. Intimate women
relax in the bathroom with cigarettes. Stock women relax in a spa stock photo. In Rio de Janeiro,
women traveling on rush-hour trains find havens from harassment in single-sex cars and sun-beds.
In societies where women are oppressed and harassed, enjoy is what they say. Eventually women
relax is what they say. Be yourself: “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, she finds it.” Float
on the river with ease. Before that summer: I was at home in the world. My body my prize. I was
happy then.



Women Fear

1. Did God really say you couldn't eat? From any tree?
2. Anna says she had a haunting feeling. Anna says her biggest fear is you only want her for her
3. A little part of me wanted. I wanted to ease the anxiety. I wanted a clause in the constitution.
4. Anna dreads getting back on the scales in January. Also aging. Also crime data.
5. I've already told you what it takes to get a girlfriend. Now I'm going to tell you how to keep
her: confront the danger women face. At the hands of the games, the stranger, the back cover, the
scales at Christmas, the examination, the specific victimizations, the rape, the serpent.



Busy Women

A season of phone screens. Magenta busts through a black sunset. These days, it is no wonder that
I wonder. Outside slow snow is the physical manifestation of mental distraction. Having dinner
home alone I seek to avoid a hangover and constant panic. No visits please, no time. Cleaning up
my life is a very personal issue. Am I so busy? Am I even moving? My mouth pushes words out
but what am I talking about. Snow in the dark. Some days there is just enough warmth to stay

Ashley Farmer is the author of Beside Myself (Tiny Hardcore Press, 2014), The Farmacist (Jellyfish Highway Press, 2015), and The Women (Civil Coping Mechanisms). An editor for Juked, she lives and works in Louisville, KY.