Sandra Simonds



This is where they plant cheap pine.
These kinds of trees don’t communicate with each other.
This is not the ecology of the forest,
it’s the ecology of a tree farm.
They create and destroy themselves for us
with no tie to the future or the past.

They used to make turpentine here.
A lot of workers tortured
in the convict leasing programs.
The company store was the only place to buy anything.
You worked all day in the swamp,
then you got yellow fever and died.

Rollover hedges all the way to the horizon.
I flipped through the pages of the Star Wars Journal
I bought my son. All the pages blank.
This is not a dystopia, it’s wreckage.

“Should I bleach my hair today and shave part of it off?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Why not? I need a look as drastic as the world we live in.”
The Garden of Eden in sculpted information.
“My love, your hair is long, wild and beautiful.”

Sandra Simonds is the author of six books of poetry: Orlando (Wave Books, 2018), Further Problems with Pleasure, winner of the 2015 Akron Poetry Prize from the University of Akron Press, 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 published in The New York Times, The Best American Poetry 2015 and 2014, and have appeared in many literary journals, including Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Granta, Boston Review, Ploughshares, and Fence. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida, and is an associate professor of English and Humanities at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia.



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