Laundromat Vigil


a poem by simone



i’m standing at the laundromat
at 4 in the morning
contemplating my mother’s smile
--warm like honey whiskey--
and everything i’ve done wrong
to get me to this point.

few things in this world
stay soft and
i remain convinced
that purity is a myth
for women to chase.
losing innocence smells like
his detergent and marlboros.
certainly, i’m irredeemable.
certainly, i was born impure.

the silence of my sisters
turns me toward atlas for guidance.
their quiet compliance feels heavier
than the weight of the world.
the obedience forced upon them
reeks of cologne.
for them, i will bear it.
to them, i will lend my voice.

i am standing at the laundromat
at 4 in the morning
contemplating my mother’s smile
--burning like honey whiskey--
and everything i have done,
and everything i must do.

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