Poem of the Day, April 19: Vacation on the Body of Christ’s Beach, Susannah W. Simpson

“In Geography of Love and Exile, Susannah Simpson explores the deepest of human desires: to belong to this world. Through language translucent with longing, she introduces us to her many worlds… To read this remarkable collection is to explore how the places in our lives shape who we are–and sometimes, if we are fortunate, help us to feel a little less alone.” -Mary Reynolds Thompson

Susannah W. Simpson spent much of her childhood in Kabul, Afghanistan and spoke Farsi as a child. She has been a waitress, a founding member of the Ad Hoc Players, learned to wield a grease gun at an auto repair garage, worked on locked psychiatric wards and as a Hospice nurse held the hands of the dying. She is the Expressive Writing Specialist at a residential treatment center in West Palm Beach, FL and a graduate of the Therapeutic Writing Institute.

Vacation on the Body of Christ’s Beach

Corpus Christi, TX

We fled my junkie lover in New Mexico
as he sold his leather suitcase for heroin
ditching rehab–too early and for good.
Weeping with exhaustion, you and I, sister,
lulled by water sounds and gulls
lay supported on the firm expanse
on the sandy flesh of Christ’s beach.
While checking in to our motel by the freeway,
I smelled “junkie” on the sweat of two
grinning over at us. We double checked
the lock, took our valuables to dinner
and drove through the business district
boarded up with plywood, packed up
since the oil crash, and ate at a restaurant
buried in the thin ribbon of wealth
along the water. We eyed young waiters,
watched huge sailboats go by,
imagined other lives and wondered:
How did it get like this?

-Susannah W. Simpson

(c)in the name of the poet or assigns. Used for educational purposes and for the promotion of the poet and personal growth of the reader.

Journal Prompt:

Start a write, How did it get like this?

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