Self-Improvement Three Ways

1. Hatha Yoga, Boston

Now, the instructor says, everyone
stretch out your arms, palms up

to the sky. In this position you

take in the world. In this position it is
nearly impossible to remain unhappy.

2. Lithe Method, Philadelphia

Everything should
hurt, she explains.
If it doesn’t hurt
like hell, you’re not
doing it right.

3. Hula Hooping, Santa Barbara

At the end of the class, the teacher
has us lie on the floor, eyes closed.
She walks around and each of us feels

a cool touch on the wrist; she has dabbed
rosewater on us. I wish I was not so
skeptical of these things. But now

the room smells like roses. She tells us of her
recent tragedies, and we all lie there
in sorrow with her, and breathe deep, our ribs

opening, big as we need them to be.

 

by Chloe Martinez

 

Chloe Martinez.jpgChloe Martinez lives with her husband and two daughters in Claremont, CA, where she teaches on the religions of South Asia at Claremont McKenna College. A graduate of Boston University’s Creative Writing MA and the MFA for Writers at Warren Wilson College, her poetry has appeared in Waxwing (forthcoming), The Normal School, The Cortland Review, The Collagist, Crab Orchard Review and elsewhere, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is at work on a scholarly monograph and seeking a publisher for her first poetry collection.

Author photo by Jamel Velji.

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