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I’m going to tell you a sonnet and it’s going to go by fast, so
you’re going to have to listen. It will have a moral. It’ll be tight
like a haiku. It will take place when I’m in twelfth grade and I’m going
to be the main character. It is 1994. In this sonnet I will
slip Chinese menus on people’s doorknobs
with red and blue rubber bands in Manhattan Beach, California
at the same time I imagine my classmates are slipping on condoms
to prevent themselves from making more of themselves.
This is what I do every day after school to help out my family.
This sonnet sincerely hopes you understand that even though
it’s about class and poverty and giving my mom an extra $75 a week
and all of that important stuff that it’s also about how this work,
walking from pink house to yellow house to gray house, gave me beautifully
sculpted calf muscles as well as the ability to write this sonnet.
Sandra Simonds is the author of four published books of poetry: Steal It Back, The Sonnets, Mother Was a Tragic Girl, and Warsaw Bikini. Her fifth book, Further Problems with Pleasure, was the winner of the 2015 Akron Poetry Prize and will be out in February 2017. Her poems have been included in the Best American Poetry 2015 and 2014 and have appeared in many literary journals, including Poetry, American Poetry Review, Chicago Review, Granta, Ploughshares, Fence, Court Green, and Lana Turner. She is an assistant professor of English and Humanities at Thomas University.
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