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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, December 24, 2018.
About this Poem 

“This poem is a response to the political street art and graffiti that I saw in Greece this past summer. The political street art slogan ‘Destroy what destroys you’ was unexpectedly Delphic in power insofar as it seemed to have the power to speak directly to the chaotic forces of emotions. This poem speaks to how we have internalized some of the oppressive structures of our times.”
—Sandra Simonds

Lindos, Greece

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.

Copyright © 2018 by Sandra Simonds. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 24, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2018 by Sandra Simonds. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 24, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Sandra Simonds

Sandra Simonds

Sandra Simonds is the author of Orlando (Wave Books, 2018).

by this poet

poem

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

2
poem

Locked in the beauty of the pearl, far from frail,
         these people who claim to love us still
they don’t give up much, do they, sealed? To eradicate class—
      the looking glass of it, the complex glare: “Let me introduce
xxx, impoverished poet.” Winter let up
     like a terrible

2
poem

with the medicinal poppies of June
nor with Celan's bloom-fest of dredged stone,
      not with history's choo-choo train of corpses,
    not with Nottingham's Robin Hood
            nor Antwerp's Diamondland.

Not walking on the Strand in Manhattan Beach with her
       silicone