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Seth Simons

the basics

There’s whales, which are big, and birds,

   most of which fly, and humans, who’ve

made all the good movies. There’s tragedy,

   which is sad, and comedy, which is too.


There’s apples, the red ones, and lemons,

   the yellow ones, and plums, the purple ones,

and oranges. Every two years or so the moon

   does something crazy. There’s joking


around with new friends not yet attuned

   to your particular sense of irony

and one million other ways to ruin something

   good. There’s a world’s worth of glittering


cities before they fall and what’s called a slip

   and slide. It’s honestly all so simple, even

simpler than it looks. What you’ll want to do

   basically is run at it screaming


and let gravity do the work, not that you'll have

   any choice. Oh, right, and there’s choice

perhaps. And sin. There’s so many answers

   to get lost in. And minds. Once I was gone


for what felt like a lifetime and came back

   the next summer, my old atoms

getting younger on the counter. There’s iron

   and oak and a sort of dark sea


glass washing ashore, piles more every day

   and there’s every day. Nothing makes

enough sense but some of it makes a little

   flutelike sound in the right wind.


It’s like this: there’s at least five spaceships

   no one uses and justice

eventually for what was done to us

   centuries ago


and what we did. There’s this whole, I don’t

   know, apparatus. And those ants

that farm aphids. There’s forgiveness

   and toothpaste and bullets.

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Seth Simons is a writer based in the Bay Area.

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