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*
This rotted log yes and no
longs for the stillness
that is not wood though you

are already inside, seated
at a table, a lamp, clinging
the way all light arrives alone

except for the enormous jaws
once shoreline closing in
without water or suddenness

—you lay down a small thing
and the Earth is surrounded, fed
slowly forehead to forehead again.

 

 

*
You reach for lullabies, left over
and the slow crawl half whispers
half where your lips ache, float

the way this empty cup still wobbles
will break apart, overloaded
disguised as two steps closer and alone

then fill your arms with its darkness
seeping through, breathing out
not yet an embrace, not yet the mouth

where your fingers end, surrounded
by more and more dirt, a small room
here, there, there, not yet asleep.

 

 

*
Though it gets dark earlier and earlier
you were already weakened at birth
—without a shrug let go things

the way each grave is graced
used to being slowly moved along
blossom and in your mouth

a somewhat pebble half fruit
half sweetened, not yet
broken apart in your throat

—you can’t make out where in the turn
you are clinging to its path
that led you here, not yet strong enough

or longing for some riverside or rain
or the night by night, warm
still falling off your hands.

 

 

*
You drink from this hole
as if it once was water
became a sky then wider

—without a scratch make room
for driftwood breaking loose
from an old love song in ashes

carried everywhere on foot
as that ocean in your chest
overflowing close to the mouth

that’s tired from saying goodbye
—you dig the way the Earth
is lifted for hillsides and lips

grasping at the heart buried here
still flickering in throats and beacons
that no longer recede –from so far

every word you say owes something
to a song that has nothing left, drips
from your mouth as salt and more salt.

 


 

 

 

[Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Osiris Poems published by box of chalk in 2017. For more information, including free e-books and his essay titled ‘Magic, Illusion and Other Realities’, please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com]

Copyright © 2018 by Simon Perchik, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.



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