h o m e........
p a s t   i s s u e s....
s u b m i s s i o n s....
l i n k s





and after everything I’ve done ? the binary systems mix
that I’ve put you through I’m just ? their molten cores
happy to relax in Z’s room and read him Dr. Seuss ? collision course
and I’m happy in the morning to wait for the garbage truck ? X-rays
because Z stands on his toy horse so he can point
out the window and yell “truck” and I bet I could teach English Comp
forever nothing’s ? pumped into the galaxy funeral ? a rut. I mean
I know we rot. I rot a lot ? the solar system wilts and rots
the seeds we planted they did rot ? continents shift because we forgot
to turn off the hose. We overwatered them. I feel
so dumb so often. Stupid sun!
Stupid holes!
Little beans,
grow down to hell. There’s no beyond ?
? the earth’s core’s a blow.


           Of course the surface is crumbling into marriage swans 
all along the lakes and waterways of their corn-fed suburb.
Still, there is hope for landscape architecture, bewilderment,
a chance to throw slices of cheap bread into the duck ponds or
take them to the children’s museum before it will close for good
or to the library before it will close for good.
Their parents, cellular, don’t know how to respond
when they ask about the difference
between prehistoric mammals and dinosaurs.
A well-respected PTA dad keeps saying “You're the man”
every time his son hits the ball into the blinking atmosphere.
Once they were cursors. Some even paint their toenails
“apocalypse” pink. Or precursors. When day is done, they teach
their children to count sheep into the serial night.


The grubs, les shrubs       das animals.
The encrusted goblets the mice eat from,
the sliced-up coconut if this is tropical
& all is one. Air & beast—
breed religiousness & clip
clop goes the Clydesdale to town
in 18th century novels where history
is written down. The goat climbs
into the sun (if this
is Jerusalem)
& hills unroll scrolls & scrolls
of the Pacific’s surf. Once I lived
in Los Angeles with her pelican beak
full of fish & is & est & ist.


You were working at the hospital, having recently
graduated from college. And there was Anna
on the fourth floor, the most beautiful girl from high school
with a nurse standing on either side of her.
The Neuropsychiatric Institute made her flat face
look historic, Norse. Saga-white fumes of antipsychotics
in the air like ancient tools. You looked away, Sandra, but
Oh she recognized you from the night you dropped acid
and went to see the Dark Side of the Moon
laser show at the planetarium in Hollywood.
Flesh survives forever in peat.
I’ve seen the wheat-colored hair of the bog people
at museum exhibits. I have pressed my cheek to the glass
case of the missing. Anna, could they be you?


The landlady informs me she owes me hundreds of dollars.
Apparently, I’ve been overpaying her for months.
What she doesn’t know is I’m building a house for her as a present.
Inside the house there will be a colorful tomb.
I will push her into this colorful tomb.
She doesn’t know it yet. I have so many tricks up my sleeve.
It’s because I’m passive aggressive. It’s because I’m mean and violent.
Have you built a house with a colorful tomb at its center yet?
The sea has a center. And everyone loves the sea
because the sea loves no one. She pulls in everything: the nursery,
the moon, the glass of milk the moonlight
shines through on the kitchen counter.
If I had to compare the sea to something
I'd compare her to the sea. Sandra Simonds is the author of Mother Was a Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2012) and Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2009). Her poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, POETRY, the Believer and elsewhere. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida. Visit her at sandrasimonds.com


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