Three Poems

by Simon Perchik

 

In the cold you blow on it
give it branches then roots
spreading out to pull you closer

–it’s hopeless! this wooden bowl
stays empty, is watered
with whispers while dirt everywhere

goes on lifting as the endless thirst
that makes all wood human
hunted down the way you say goodbye

with a cry that’s not a song anymore
not overhead though the bowl
is just for show, a little something

where nothing keeps its hold
on cradlesong –you lower it
till it disappears and you drink.

*

Helpless on the ground this dirt
is already salt, then darkness
though your mouth belongs

the way each winter your shadow
thaws as the flower
that no longer talks in the open

or wanders off to become the scent
that hides in your heart
and melting candles –dirt

is useless here –cold
is your shadow now, buried
in the darkness moving across

–you can barely hear the cries
watching over you, covering
this unbearable Earth.

*

Disguised as mountainside
–all wing though the sky
can’t let go and all evening

updraft –the sun thins out
becomes red then black
dead on the ground, choked

as if every climb is made from dirt
keeps its hold till the air
takes root and you drift

without moving or water
–you hound this darkness
by mining it arm over arm

and around each stone
your arms held in
picking up speed –the sun

dangling from your teeth
and the distance
that has forgotten how.

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.
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