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tearing the rag off the bush again
Simon Perchik: New Poems PDF E-mail
                SIMON PERCHIK
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                                A single charm and the air
                                slows though what you breathe in
                                is clustered with stones
                                falling into stones -even here
                                you use the ruined
                                to anchor between one miracle
                                and another -shoulder to shoulder
                                with no place to go these graves
                                are opened for stars
                                half coming back, half
                                the way your breath covers the dirt
                                takes hold and lifts from under.
                                You expect more from rain, point
                                though cupped in your hand
                                there's no sign when these stones
                                pulled it to the ground
                                as mouths broken open
                                devouring the Earth
                                -all that's left standing
                                is the way moonlight enters
                                with just enough darkness
                                to touch down everywhere at once
                                and not have to remember -the sky
                                owes you, should stick
                                cover your skin with a toss
                                made from a single name
                                coming to a close -splash
                                is what you count on
                                -place to place watering
                                the small door that opens at night.
                                Not yet certain, half stone
                                half held back -wave after wave
                                rattles it, makes it start over
                                louder, distracted by the sound
                                that is not your shoulders
                                gathering around this grave
                                no longer facing the fragrance
                                riverbeds become once they dry
                                by calling out to each other
                                clog your mouth with salt and nearby
                                -what you hear is edging closer
                                has doubts, lost count
                                the way these rocks are winded
                                and one by one broken up
                                as flowers and your arms.
                                Dragging one leg you dust
                                the way sunlight changes colors
                                once it touches down and this rag
                                spreading out along the limp
                                that carries you away
                                wiping off weeds, winds
                                and those webs spiders are taught
                                to listen with just their shadow
                                for distances -you smother
                                as if one death would point
                                where the others let you
                                and cover the Earth
                                with mouths that never close
                                though you tug, taking root
                                in wobble, losing hold
                                strutting into these corners
                                pulled by a closeness
                                that is not dirt or moving.
                                Inside this glass its sand
                                flowing between the hours
                                and shoreline -you drink
                                waves, not sure one grave
                                would pull you under
                                give in to the small stones
                                you swallow twice
                                covering your mouth
                                with beach grass, harbors
                                and sea birds flying toward you
                                no longer keeping track
                                bringing you more cries
                                and expect an answer -you water
                                rock that never ripens
                                though your shadow
                                is rotting on the ground
                                pouring from these dead
                                as moonlight and left behind.
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