Lindos, Greece

Sandra Simonds
Maybe silence adds to the pain
and maybe pain adds to the sea
and maybe the sea is only a reflection
of a ruin today
where the mind is unable to make out
how things used to be for us:
complete, with deities, a kind of 
order. Oh never mind the ATMs 
scattered throughout the medieval town
or the street art sprayed
into the air that says
Destroy what destroys you
But I destroy myself;
I destroy myself.

More by Sandra Simonds

Red Wand

Sometimes I try to make poetry but mostly 
    I try to earn a living. There's something still living
 in every urn, I am sure of it. The ash moves 
       around inside the vase like the magnetic filings that make 
the moustache of Wooly Willy. Maybe a new face counts 
      as reincarnation. The wand says, "I'll be your ostrich,
 if you'll be my swan." In this life, what did I do wrong?  
I think my heart is a magnet too. It attracts anything
 that attracts joy like the summer grasses the swans track through. 
       OMG, how in love I am with joy and with yours—how I know 
that adding to it would only take it further off course, 
      off its precarious center, so for once, I won't touch it.
 I will stand wand-length away—let it 
    glide stupidly on its weightless line, without me.

Ode to Country Music

If I wasn't such a deadbeat, I'd learn Greek.
    I wouldn't write sonnets; I'd write epics
and odes. I'd love a man who was
    acceptable and conformed to every code.
I'd put together my desk and write my epic or ode
    at sunset over my suburb. How I would love my shrubs!
But all I do is listen to country (and the occasional Joni)
    and smoke. Judge me judge me
judge me. Oh I've been through the shallows.
    I shallow. I hope. I hole. I know
I wrote you the most brutal love poem that knows.

Sorcery

I’m a witch who lost all her powers, then
   in place of my powers, I got the coiled beauty
of seashells and sleeping infants. The coiled
beauty of eardrums, and the sound wave
of bells. The bells! This is the country of clouds.
       The molten body, the Floridian pinks,
       and centuries of sand dollars examining
the arcing waves. New territory
of interiority and I’m in the middle of this.
   White like a negative belt.
I am an airless thing. When I get high, I get low.
           But I’m real and airless and love you.

Related Poems

What the Streets Look Like

Mom: the sweet rotted
summer stench still
taps the nasal cavity
inside breezes several
times per block. I have
a greater empathy for
pigeons after two months
at work in the unnatural 
country, & find it
instinctively nerve-
wracking to remove my
wallet from its pocket
here in town despite
the general lack of threat.
The streets look grey
nonplussed, post-
pubescent relative to
ancient times but
nonetheless grid-wizened
in the face of an ever-
changing lineup of
banks, bars, and specialty 
shops with their weak
signs and distant tones
(lighting). Second Ave
is giving up, slowly 
its cheap depth store-
front by storefront.
One feels less than
nostalgic for the like-
lihood of being mugged
but likelihood itself
feels less than evident
unless one is being
unstable and unspoken 
coming to dreaming
while pushing a stroller
over the variously cracked
slabs of concrete each
block yet greets the
wheels with. The right
part of the y heading
west on tenth between
2nd and 3rd is still
tree-lined and aristocratic
as feint, though its
sidewalk looks like
late Auden's smoked
cheeks. I loathe it,
amiably, when Sylvie
is asleep.