Simon Perchik


The sky must be finished with you
—it's no longer raining
though these flowers take years
to dry, are still sprinkling overhead
as if the shadow holding you close
has forgotten its way back for dinner
is turning into air, trembling.

Without any wind facing you
the sky has built a cemetery
held endlessly in front
—a monstrous evening, half
mountainside, half broken open
for a hand that wants a stone
—what a hunger! breaking
the plates, breaking the table.



So much dirt yet you cram
as if these seeds would slip
crush everything to bloom

the way you pick out a loose stone
hoping for an avalanche
and the yard covers with flowers

once your hands come together
so the ground can't move
or light up your eyes

because it's easier than sorting
—you don't cheat anyone :one seed
next to another and another and another

lowered so everyone
is put back piece by piece
and next Spring will climb out

to look for you
—you use colors! come dressed
waving your fingers

sifting the Earth whose light
is wasted in the daytime
counting, counting, counting.



As if the sky could admire itself
rippling on the surface
the way each river that carries the dead

clogs with dirt and clay and you pour
flood the cup with tiny waves
that block the air from entering

are used to how your whisper
cools with its wings end over end
as lips and helplessness and the leaves

half tea, half trying to remember
how to drown —you stir slowly
the only thing you can do

to keep the sky in a tight circle
though you don't drink, just let the water
go cold, expectant, become more or less
the darkness it once was.



The guy with the squeegee
has no idea how cold dust is
or why it's taking so long

for her reflection to cover the glass
with sirens, whistles, more ice
—he's nervous bathing the mannequin

half naked, half with water
fresh from your heart
—you're in the way! wedged

between her motionless mouth
and the shadow that is yours
—no matter how easy enough

you don't touch the window
ready to break open
wipe her breasts dry.



Without any smoke all 100 watts
—a fireball! and you
face to face the way two stars

become one and morning
—you unfold this rickety ladder
till it falls into the ceiling

—a sudden splash and wings
begin to form from wings
and that slow climbing turn the dead

look forward to :you embrace the bulb
shake it, gently! make sure
if what you hear is a loosening

or the night sky that never heals
—you almost drown holding on
and the lake drained black

half overhead, half dirt
burnt to the ground where you
still follow behind —gone, gone

—in time you will dig a place
not too far, not too wide
for the rippling among the stones.