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Rachel M Simon

Good Government


After 27 years of adequate hearing aids and a shake of lip-reading,

Ohio bought state-of-the-art aids for Sweets and she hears her first banana peel.

The noisy revelation emptied her crisper, which sounded plastic,

more funky.  To open produce aloud, unsung.


In noisy lives of history and eucalyptus we never think banana peel.

Cinematic tomato squish, quiet cat feet outside the house,

muffled background crashes on the Fisher Price recording of you

singing flat notes to the chronologically appropriate pop song.


I’m trying to capture the skitter and thrum to package for the trip to Cleveland,

learning dog signs for Definitely, to avoid the love-maul for our language barrier.

The degradable city freezes and thaws, thankful to have its homers,

the occasional small point spread, Marginal Road, thick skin of security.


When Sweets throws a silent party in the listening gallery

wear thick socks on deep shag carpet, whiff the hors d’oeuvres, don’t chew.




The Soul Within Woman


Her voice deep ash and aged

            throaty backstroke

Years after the wandering uterus

            nailed and stapled

I drew a Canadian map

            guidebook loaned out

To scrape away the windshield’s ice

            thumbtack sculpture

This cave unspelunkable

            vocal dreamland

Melodies unmerry indigo plump

            curling tumbler

Exact reminders of large mistakes

            adoption farce

Padded envelope too large for mailbox

            grainy photo

Ample embouchure for hammy carols

            private key brace

I have grown remarkably since

            Myrtle’s puppet

Post-polio smoking lessons

            Saskatoon sky

Big-lipped canyon ladies

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