A Poem By Sandra Simonds

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

I Grade Online Humanities Tests

at McDonalds where there are no black people
and there’s a multiple choice question
or white people about Don Quixote
or Asian or Indian people I don’t want to be around
people I want to be here where there is
free wireless I do not want to sit at the Christian
coffee shop nor the public
library No I want religion to blow itself up
My sister converted to Catholicism
I do not want to sit at Starbucks
I like McDonalds coffee because it is cheap
and watery I like how it tastes
I like this table where the old man
is telling his old friend
about the baby black swan that he would feed
corn to in Cairo, Georgia when he was a kid
No, Mark Twain did not write Don Quixote I’m going to
be here a while in this fucked up shit
You can get an old Crown Vic police car
In Cairo for $500 so I read
a poem by James Franco in the literary magazine I brought with
My mechanic wants to fuck me
And the poem isn’t as bad
as people say he is bad One of his friends dies
in the poem He says the word “cunt” I don’t know
what to make of it I read it as “Cnut,”
the medieval prince of Denmark who ascended and ascended
to become the king of England I bet some managers here could relate
to Cnut Send me a pic of your
cunt the mechanic says I miss you I say what do
you miss about me He says “your big tits”
Elliott Smith is mentioned in
the Franco poem and might or might not
be a “cowboy” Maybe Franco really
is bad after all The Crown Vic is
a vehicle the way the police always
say “vehicle” not “car” but the mechanic
always says “car” not “vehicle” because I teach
the police I know how they talk The mechanic
says Sandra, stop speeding and do you want
to see a picture of my wife No, Cervantes
did not write “Because I Could Not
Stop for Death” and I will be
sitting here all day in this fucked up shit god
dammit click click click I keep looking
at things like pictures of your husband
which makes me feel sick
and watery Now a young boy, maybe 8 or 10
in a booth across from me
is telling his mamma his daddy’s new girlfriend is ugly
“She’s ugly, mamma” and trying to comfort her
Do you want to meet in the Home Depot
parking lot? I don’t think this is a good
If I find you with him I’ll kill him
and I’ll kill you and no one will
know where your body But your husband
isn’t ugly he is beautiful leaning over to look at himself
in pond water or leaning over
masculinity itself leaning over the family
he has made for himself and the pond
is male because he owns the pond
and the guns are male because he owns the guns
and what’s happening is male because he owns the factors
that go into the car is male because he owns the police
and Home Depot is male because he owns and owns
and owns and all he can do is own
everything that will rot
like privacy or speech or porn or black swans
or my big tits which he misses
Fucking swans! A man decides to sit
next to me and he is frantically hitting
his egg McMuffin on the table and then walks
outside and smokes a cigarette and returns
to his seat and starts hitting
his wrapped egg McMuffin again
and then he sees my computer and asks
to check his Facebook So I let him
and then he wants to be friends on Facebook
and leaves his phone number on my page
and I “like” it and then in the background
the little boy’s like “She’s ugly, mommy
She’s so ugly mommy” and the mom
is like “Is she? Is she ugly?” And I think the mom
is ugly even though I don’t want her to be
and the other kids at the booth
are drinking milk and they are chubby
and eating fries and saying
“Yeah she’s ugly
Yeah mommy she’s so ugly
You wouldn’t want to meet her
because she’s so ugly”

Sandra Simonds is the author of four books of poetry: Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2009), Mother Was a Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University, 2012), House of Ions (Bloof Books, 2014) and The Glass Box (Saturnalia, 2015).

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.