Jane in the Guest Room

Jennifer Habel

Winter 2019

Jane wants to wear the necklace she brought: it would please
her mother. But everything that pleases

Jane’s mother is what’s wrong with Jane’s mother.
Jane is a very attractive woman, says her mother,

by which she means I need to lose ten pounds. Jane needs
to lose ten needs: the need to disprove,

the need to need, the need to disapprove,
the need to use the dusty treadmill in her mother’s basement.

The necklace, like all jewelry, is meant to mean. It means

Jennifer Habel is the author of Good Reason, winner of the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition. Her poems have appeared in the Believer, Gulf Coast, the Massachusetts Review, the Southeast Review, and elsewhere.

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