Two Poems

Simone Wolff
 About the Writer

Simone Wolff is the baby of the Vanderbilt MFA poetry program, incumbent poetry editor of the Nashville Review, and social media intern at Coconut Magazine. 

90s MOM


Her jewelry always gets clumped

together in the jewelry box,

chains clutch each other,

odd earrings lodged in the links.

Jewelry boxes live in the bathroom.


Every box in every bathroom

she inhabits becomes coated in blush dust

and a general crust of makeup

that tautologically smells of her skin––

rose water and blowdryer breath.


She always carries this smell,

despite the grime between the tiles

and the black bits on the stove

and the never-laundered towels that hung

next to the scummy sink where


I would scrub myself every night

her in the mirror on the toilet

tugging at a tampon string hanging

like the chain of the bathtub drain,

a red stain creeping down from above,


she’d drop it in the toilet and flush

like the box tells you not to, and she’d wash

her hands, thoroughly, like a doctor

and inspect her pores in the mirror,

old acne pockmarks and new freckles.


Or me in the bathtub and her

wielding a new tampon, fresh cotton

like clean bedsheets, telling me about

how big her breasts had been before I was born

while soap bubbles popped on my flat form


and I failed to imagine a world

without me observing it, without

my hair fanning out on the bath-surface

like a storm over my body, without blood

gurgling up making the toilet water pink,


without the nightly conference of these rituals

sometimes by 99 cent candlelight, naked

among the waterbugs and leaks of our apartment.





on the road the houses are

lemon-filled and cedar-crusted


I could be inside one of them I could

be watching us slash through the night


while I stood in red boots

in my golden wooden hallway


my kitchen soon to be green

with the morning


coffee grounds blooming

next to chilled jam


but actually my ear

is brushing the bottom of the steering wheel


how I am humming into you

can I fold the world that way


how can I tuck myself

into the softest corner of life


your zipper winks, shining

your shirt drenched from my mouth


you moan into the windshield and take

us home