Simon Perchik

Three Poems

You still use rain, breathe in

till your mouth is full

–you can’t jump clear, grow huge

on a sky that has no holes, no Earth

–what did you say, what words

were helped along, holding on to the others

all the way down, facing the sun

though who know where this thirst

first as ashes, now your own

is kept warm for the whispers

not needed anymore –only rain

as necessary as bending down

comes this close and your voice

more and more feeble, bathes you

lowers you, covers you.

The ground so slow to heal

has yellowed though the camera

injected a faint gloss

calmed the family and friends

still afraid to move the body

–not too close! Your cheek

could scare her off and the snapshot

tree and all, left empty

cared for by the sun alone

can’t get a hold :each evening

hides in front with the small lake

pressed against her forehead

that has nothing to warm

and though the frame is wood

you shake it the way leaves

once left in place tell you

here! among the kisses

with no time to lose.

These sheep have no choice either

though even in summer

they still want to hear the truth

just by staring back at the grass

lifelike –it’s not for you

they hold power here, let go

nothing, not their fleece

not these sleeves, face to face

–you have no right to stand so close

as if a second sky would wave you past

make room, gather in the Earth

and lift :a small hillside

anything! to mourn –the dead

are here somewhere

not yet marble, not yet enough.

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, free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.
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