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The Mirror in the Waiting Room - Jessamyn Wolff

My cursive twists slow under the overhead light, under

the line, describe your mental health emergency: I write

the sentence, my brother was killed in a fire last night and

it doesn’t feel true so I pause before handing the form back

to the lady behind the desk. There is a dribble of quiet, radiator

clicking under a plastic fern, and then an exhale falling out of

the secretary’s mouth, a sigh from her swivel chair. I hear her

charm bracelet, thick as a wreath, crash against a stack of

Styrofoam cups. I have tea and doughnuts, she says, carrying

a tray and a paper packet of chamomile in both hands. I select

an unglazed doughnut hole, take a cup and heave a smile onto

my face. Hot water’s by the mirror, she says, pointing across

the room. I look and notice the girl sitting there, staring at me,

bobbing her leg so fast my own ankle aches to watch. I stare

back at her thigh rippling under grey sweats, her finger moving

to scoop the black mascara slugs away from her tear ducts. I

imagine her under the moon, shaking, too afraid to sleep after

the phone call from home, sidewalk salt sticking to her boots

as she moved through the night that shattered into morning.


Jessamyn Wolff is a poet and visual artist from Michigan, currently based in Boston. Wolff received her MFA in Poetry at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Hanging Loose Press, Conception Arts Show, High Shelf Press, and Prometheus Dreaming.

Jessamyn is a runner up for the Fall 2020 Sad Girls Club poetry contest.



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