1. Home
  2. Poetry Magazine
  3. Poems
  4. You Can’t Build a Child by Sandra Simonds
You Can’t Build a Child

Related Poem Content Details

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 breast implants, refinery, waves of trash,
        not out of the Library of Alexandria
            with her burnt gardens that prefigure gnarly,
        barnacle-laden surfboards broken in half.

You can’t build the child with the stone paths
        that we have walked on through the atmosphere,
            the pirate’s plank, the diving board, the plunge,
          nor with the moon whether
                she be zombie or vampire.
        Not with Delphi, not with fangs, or cardamom bought
                in Fez, red with spring, red with
                    marathon running cheeks.

            Not with monk chant, bomb chant,
        war paint, not with the gigantic Zen pleasure zones,
                nor with this harnessed pig
        on the carousel that I am sitting on with my son
                in Nice, France. How it burns on its axis
            as if it were turning into pineapple-colored kerosene
        the way the Hawaiian pig, apple in snout, roasts
            in its own tropical meat under the countdown sun.

Source: Poetry (April 2012)

More from this issue

This poem originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

You Can’t Build a Child

Related Poem Content Details

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Other Information