A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

simone wolff


i used to let boys glow
on the othersideless window
of my desktop screen
as i sat in the garage
with our only computer
under the spotlight
of a single lamp
i waited for them patiently
i liked them to IM me first
they were like hey hi sup
i was like nm u?
they told me about their girlfriends
they told me about their dads
they told me about my ass
when i saw them at school
they looked limp + greasy
they looked 3D + empty
they said things like hey hi sup
they said nothing
in computer lab i’d IM the boy next to me
he had the worst screenname of all
something about ireland and numbers
we didn’t even look at each other
but once he reached his left hand over
right hand still on the mouse...
in the garage
with my hand on the mouse
i liked to be the one to sign off first
sometimes i’d sign off and look at porn
or buy some books
boys used to look like words
i told them real + fake things
they told me i was like a butterfly
they told me i was a slut
they told me that they had just cut themselves
one told me he had never been kissed
we met up + i kissed him irl
later when i was back in the garage
he told me he only liked me for my body
+ i was like
me too


“The Young-Girl lives at home amongst commodities, which are her sisters” -

it’s good to be a loved thing
to lay your plaits golden
french-braid flush against your skull
pin closed the circlet i plan to open
later against our pillow
i wasn’t the kind of girl you loved
in middle school
who wore her beauty to her waist
rippling like a hologram
i too was waiting to be let behind
their curtains
once time me and two
girls swapped lipgloss under the moon
later one of them slid the muscle
of her scrunchie to her wrist
and rinsed me in strands
shampoo atomized
from the loosed neck of her ponytail
like pearls burst from a string
it’s good to be a touched thing
like the rainbow mane of my favorite pony
its tiny pink comb a twin of my palm
its printed-on eyelashes
its permasmile
its perfumed plastic slick with my babysweat
as i groomed and was groomed.


the shop was warm + plush +pink
like the heart of a giant doll w/a
body as big as the borough +
limbed w/bridges…
an organ hung with panties
+ bras + lace devices
that for me at five remained obscure
in their purposes…
dad had led me in
my small hand lost in his... i slipped
away + flitted about the shop dipping
pinkies in velvet folds + lacy holes
while dad inspected a basket lined
with silk + piled with taupe jelly forms…
(a friend of ours had lost the fat above
her heart.. where I had this pink thing she had a scar
bigger than my smile)...
he chose her prosthetic
carefully + paid + pocketed
it in the breast of his camel coat...


My stepmother gave me an amethyst necklace when I was five years old, right when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I hardly knew her then. She's still alive and has now been with me most of my life. This souvenir is my favorite because when I touch it, I don't have to miss anything.


Simone Wolff is an MFA student at Vanderbilt, Head Poetry Editor for the Nashville Review, social media intern for Coconut Magazine, and publications intern for Kit Yan Productions. Their work can be found in Split Lip, Finery, Inpatient Press, WE'RE HERE WE'RE QUEER zine, Coldfront, and is forthcoming in The Subterranean Quarterly.