Friday, January 26, 2018

Simon Perchik's Poetry

Simon Perchik's poetry has also appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere.

Blurred yet something with wings
tucked in its eggs and your skin
swollen for a single cry
to feed on a morning close by
with a warm bowl held out
dripping the way flowers
still blossom in pain
careful not to leave the ground
                        –it could have been
some hillside, after a long flight
carrying your arm as a stronghold
for rain not yet dying down
between strangers and shelter
–it happened so fast
there’s nothing left to pull back.
This door slams easily now
though in the dark
it remembers more
reaches around and the rain
returned to you as lips
pressed together
weighs almost nothing
keeps both these hinges
from drying the way a deathwatch
night after night anchors
against the splash
and makes from your hand
a mask to ward off the Earth
tightening around your cheeks
two shadows, two mouths.
To lower this stream its rope
snaps though the Earth
is starting up again
as the small stone
you won’t let cool
keep adding more
and the few sparks it needs
to heat this grave with half
–don’t ask its age, the knot
has nothing to hold together now
lets you deepen this gorge
                        the way each footstep is sure
depends on the silence
leaching from this stone
already in a row, had to be done.
You weed the way these two lions
were carved, half strong box
half where the graves
are kept safe so step by step
you can count the names
taking hold place to place
the only Deed left
that will never have a home
–these cornered beasts
outnumber you –just to start
though your fingers spend their time
heated over a small stone
could calm these dead
and the tall wet grass struggling
not yet the riverbank they need.
It’s a meal, your elbows
crawling the way this soap
is shaped by salt
though she still believes
the water stays young
by letting you touch it
washing her shoulders
with undersea prairies
as if an arm so old
could still reach out
make room in her breasts
for nourishment
and already your fingers
smell from saliva
and empty riverbeds
kept wet for these wrinkles
taking away her cheeks
her legs and agony.

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