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Friday, September 28, 2018

Simon Perchik ----- five poems

East Hampton, NY  11937

Lost and you watch the sun worsen
already falling as the nights
too weak to warm your shadow

though you read only in the afternoon
crouched under this kitchen table
with nothing on it that could sag

and without a sound weigh too much
let you open the mail, return to life
the window left in this small room

–you can tell from the stamp
it’s easy to fear
–so frail is its darkness

only your hands can be seen
holding your forehead, pushing it back in
to remember where you live.

By yourself though the sun
still needs more water –all that land
dried for just one afternoon

sent back alone and every morning now
you let the coffee try, boil
the way this table is spreading out

become the dirt for what’s in store
ready made as that small mouthful
that swallows you whole

to look for thirst inside a cup
side by side this one kept full
as if it was at home.

And though this pillow is enough
you still come by at night
safe from sand and salt

–with both elbows on the bed
your clothes in a heap
–what you can’t say

is soaking in sea grass
and her clothes too
no longer moving, piled close

for encouragement, lift your head
–on a dark bed, stroking an empty dress
Mickie, Mickie, Mickie

as far as it can reach
with her hand over your mouth
one sleeve at a time.

You no longer dig for shadows
as if this hillside depends on you
for water –what you hear

is trapped between two suns
one circling the other till nothing’s left
but the afternoon and beneath

letting its pieces fall off –you dead
are always listening for the gesture
the lowering that sweeps in

those pebbles mourners leave
as words, overflowing, certain
now is the time –it’s not the time

this dirt is afraid to open
become a rain again, be a sky
let it speak by throwing the Earth

and over your shoulder, eyes closed
though there is no grass
and your arms a Weber, Miller, Marie.

Even as silence you dead
favor knots, brought here
the way each grave is tightened

counts on constant gathering
and the arm over arm
that hold the skies together

as if some nesting bird
would fly out from this hillside
and leave behind its wings

spread-eagle, letting go
those small rocks mourners bring
for your shoulders –you want rope

not for its name but the weight
still taking shape inside, kept empty
and all around you the lowering.

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