Sandra Simonds
I am inside the humanities and

  if I step
            too far out of it,
                  I’m dead. The figure
           at the top left corner is Securitas. 
     No rent! No work! No wages!
       No more!  For those thinking
   of disturbing the peace, let 
      the hanged man be your warning.
In order to write this poem,
     I paid daycare $523
            for the week. Make sure you premix
       the bottles, bring diapers. Make it worth
                    something, this time. Mayan
             countdown clock to Mayan
   countdown clock, two bodies,
uncivilized, in a bed wanting
        the water of the world to 
give them back a pyramid. 
       Also, the bronze head of Adam.
                Also, the world of children, 
         their toys, the plastic imitation food—eggs,
         miniature cereal boxes, deformed mirror
           to the real. I could not keep working
     to make money for the people I despised, 
         nothing is right, but I couldn’t afford 
       not to either. Late at night, Chris 
            said “I hate my job.”  The hydro-geologists 
              have to give permits to Gulf Oil
                   for more water or someone
         will lose their livelihood. It was winter
        in Florida, the path to all principles
       of all inquiries led back to this
 one statement, like a recite
from Publix: I was teaching
     the humanities again. 

In the garden of the fallen
      aristocrats, where no one sits 
on the lawn, it is as if heaven is on 
     one side, hell, on the other,
and somehow I have slipped very far 
     into the abyss between the two,
an abyss that contains suns 
      the way black holes
do not give back the history
   of light, the way a galaxy
                      turns like a clock 
        into the desperate desire 
for water and these flowers
            bloom like idiots,
            live as thieves. 

   Chris’ cryptic texts
from West Florida: “No coffee.
   nuclear power plant” and a picture  
          of some industrial 
                map of rust.
O Apollinaire, eau-de-vie,  
       in this garden, which is a mockery 
                 of all gardens, 
   in this Bed, Bath and Beyond 
of the intimate, remember me,
   I know what is real 
  and I will remember how to steal 
     back what is mine.

Found In Volume 42, No. 05
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  • sandra simonds
Sandra Simonds
About the Author

Sandra Simonds is the author of four books of poetry: Steal It Back (Saturnalia Books, 2015), The Sonnets (Bloof Books, 2014), Mother Was a Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2012), and Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2009). Her poems have been included in the Best American Poetry 2015 and 2014 and have appeared in many literary journals, including Poetry,  Chicago ReviewGrantaBoston ReviewPloughsharesFenceCourt Green, and Lana Turner. Her fifth book, Further Problems with Pleasure, is the winner of the 2015 Akron Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from the University of Akron Press.