Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Five Untitled Poems By Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013).  For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com

For a split-second these steps
are at a loss, half thorns
half holding back just enough

in case you come too close
and your shadow no longer means
you still face the sun

the way this stairway will dissolve
as rainwater, would close your eyes
if there was time

--where you wade is already wood
smoothed by the same descent
streams are famous for

can tell from a single stone
on the bottom for years
following under footmarks then flowers

that stay open alongside the others
till suddenly you are ankle-deep
breathing out again, there.

You tell this ice the glass
is breaking up, to take
one breath more :a splash

starting out, half as shoreline
the other frozen underneath
so you don’t drown the way each shadow

still has the scent from seawater
though the frost
is already holding your hand

face down, deeper and deeper
in pieces not yet apart
--you yell breathe in, let its cold

wash over you, in you, become
water again, a mouth again
and against your lips, alone.

You will hide, try
point to your forehead
almost remember where the mourners

put the dirt back
so even you won’t know the difference
--you need more dirt :a sky

with one cloud then another
filled with stones and gasping for air
so you will think it’s the grasses

that have forgotten where to go
have nothing left to do
the way funerals still come by

as if rain no longer mattered at night
and the kiss someone once gave you
--you won’t eat anymore :the breeze

will step back, go slack, cover you
though there’s not enough room
with distances and longing.

You sprinkle the dead, closer than usual
as if something inside this rock
is just now learning to survive

without roots, already talks
about lying awake, afraid your fingers
will crack it open for the mouth

to cover the one that’s started
the way night over night your hands
spread out as the distance

that empties only into river water
so it comes up each morning
held in place, not yet breathing.

And though the dirt never dries
a simple circle makes it easy
--your fingertip begins to warm

then later the emptiness
it’s used to --by heart
curves in as if the grass

knows nothing about the tiny waves
leaving shore alone and the old life
already around your shoulders

--the dead never expected your lips
so close, on the bottom
will never know what they wanted.

No comments:

Post a Comment