Thursday, October 28, 2021

Simon Perchik --- poems


Simon Perchik


Not with the light itself

lifting this page closer

though the breeze already left 

–you need glasses, the kind

crystal-gazers use

and for centuries would weep

to birds that go on living 

–cockpit-glass! pressed

against your forehead

by wings and distances 

–in the end the book too

will lose its slack, approach

with the window in front

closed and even its shadow

had no chance to escape.


You have so many arms

holding fast the way all cradles

are lowered side to side

still listening for the breeze

that comes from one whisper more 

–what you calm here

are lullabies lifting you ashore

as campfires, heating your lips

with salt and kisses

that never let go –here 

everyone sleeps on the ground

though there’s never enough brushwood

to cover you song after song

draining your heart into its arms

filling with ashes and autumn.


As if these sleeves are cooled

and that slow roll

you’re still not used to

left one arm in the open

struggling, almost holds on –the tattoo

helps, smells from flowers

kept cold though it’s an old shirt

given your bare skin

for its years, months, minutes

and the exact place held close

licking the ice from your shoulders

your breasts and the flowers.


From under this pathway the sun

brings your shadow back

the only way it knows

though what it pulls up

is just as weak, hardly pebbles

and on a plate left outside

as if this grave is still vicious

caged the way the dead

are fed with your mouth

calling out from the dark corners

for stones, more stones –step by step 

you remember things, better times 

careful not to come too close 

not raise your hand 

or one false move.


On the way up this darkness

must sense it’s more wax

letting the varnish take forever

though you count how high

a second time –these shelves

aren’t restless enough, here

for the fire all wood is sent for 

–in every room! caskets

stacked as if from behind

the wall would reach around

smelling from bark, roots

and the uncontrollable embrace

heating your cheek the way rain

returns to lower its face on the dirt

that never moves :these boards

kept open for a dry rag 

all night rubbing your forehead

darker and darker, almost there.

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