The Garden of Eden

Vision of Baudelaire        in this North Florida forest      looking into the eye
of a lizard with green         purple eyeliner zigzagging its way up a burnt log

Florida Yew, Olive, neon orange        day moon mushrooms
over the white bluffs         of the psychiatric Apalachicola River

Valéry says shells, flowers and crystals    are the privileged
objects of nature           harmonic underbelly,
endless, alien recycle      of gorge and interlude 

George Michael died today       For I live in a bubble of joy     
Go out into the sun!         the doctor says               your blood work     
is totally normal   except for a            Vitamin D deficiency 
and left the office behind     and unleashed my sentimentality


Copyright © 2017 by Sandra Simonds. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 30, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This is part of a long political poem called ‘Atopia’ that I have been working on since the November election. In part, it’s an exploration of various conceptions of utopia and dystopia. I wrote this part of the poem in my head while on this hike that I took on Christmas Day 2016, the day George Michael died.”
—Sandra Simonds