Flumes Vol. 5: Issue 1, Summer 2020 - Page 80

Moments of Pose

By Rebekah Morris

Twenty-Four Years Old

My black furry sweater swallowed me from above the points of my collarbone to the top of my mom jeans. I sat in an uncomfortable chair at a desk in a room full of other writers. I rolled my shoulders up and backwards. Posture. Posture. Posture. My breasts pushed me more forward than I would have liked, but I could no longer see my shoulders from the corners of my eyes.

In New York we walked down 23rd street after our morning class was finished. Next to me walked a twenty-seven year old man who wore a long black trench coat over a black sweater and dark pants. He wore dark clothing to portray intimidation, as he was nervous of crime committed towards him. My long brown and pink striped coat fell midway between my calves as we walked in the wind toward our hotel.

“Have you used Tinder here?” I asked after we conversed about my relationship and his singleness.

“Yes,” he said exasperatedly. “I’ve been swiping like mad. The girls here are-” he paused as we crossed the walkway with twenty other people squeezing toward the gray sidewalk.

“All models. I swear.”

“Yes,” I added, “Very fashionable and put together.”

“Not only that though. They walk upright, with their shoulders back.”

I nodded and saw my own shoulders down in the corners of my eyes. There room for them to travel backwards.

Seven Years Old

I sat in an outdoor four-season porch at my neighbor’s house. My parents had walked me over to meet the cabin owners from another state. I sat on my hands and watched the loon on the lake as the adults talked about the unpleasantness that sometimes came with traveling. The conversation shifted.

The woman commented on my broad shoulders.

“You must be a swimmer,” she said. I played volleyball.

I wished I could have folded my shoulders into my body like the way one folded the sleeves of a shirt into the middle of the shirt before the shirt is folded horizontally and placed in a dresser drawer.