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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Untitled Poem                   

                      

It’s a simple thing, you weep

and though your eyes are silent

they don’t reach–what you see

 

is your heart covered with stones 

that have no mornings either

except far off where all mist starts

 

the oceans are grieving on the bottom

holding down your forehead

–so easy a flower could do it

 

say in its face-up way, Leave!

there will be no more kisses

and from your mouth all Earth

 

overflows, becomes lips and distances

–that’s why nobody asks you

lets you imagine you see her clearly

 

knitting a blanket, a white one

rusted needles in both hands, you

walking by, already thorns, roots.

 

                       *

 

Exhausted, on its back the sun

–from so far, brought down

by its unbearable weight

 

not sure it can be lifted

cool, become the moon again

and without stopping, listens

 

for the darkness, holds on

to all that’s left–you look for her

as if every night is mixed with mud

 

and mountains not yet ashes

though you can make out her shoulders

still warm in this enormous silence

 

split in two, growing hair

and lips and flowers, holes

madness and nothing else.

 

                       *

 

So many dead! let this pebble find her

and its own never ending emptiness

to guide you through these graves

 

–you almost hear her undress, far off

half matted hair, half as if each cave

is filled with echoes–bats are good at it

 

shoulder to shoulder the way your shadow

wing over wing is uprooted, worm eaten

no longer the whisper between your fingers

 

and her breasts–such a small thing, a pebble

coming in low, brought down by a death

left standing, holding fast to lakes

 

oceans, sleep–you sleep on the ground now

alongside weeds and her comb still warm

from edges, corners and mornings.

 

                       *

 

It’s a struggle though your legs

inhale the vague heaviness

walking around your heart

 

no longer breathe out

or lower you to where the night

comes down from the ceiling

 

as dirt mixed with silence

and wood–you’re too weak

to walk the streets–the dresses

 

are empty and your skin

takes in too much air

would float the way a plank

 

is salvaged from a shipwreck

to make a likeness, a clearing

you can fall on and her shoes too

 

will dry–you sit on this bed

as if both pockets are stuffed

with waves, rocks and further apart.

  

                       *

 

This carpet dropped at your feet

welcomes you though every path

is due a clear reason trailing along

 

–speak up! spread out, walk

the way great oceans break into foam

just to count while every one here

 

is devoured trying to go on

as an endless shoreline–we know why

with our fingers reaching up

 

you turn your head–louder! talk

as if these leaves will never dry

are waiting for you to make a sound

 

that’s not another number

added to ours–for you silence is enough

but we too have a mouth–tell us how

 

draw out a breath that will have a place

as if nothing happened–every death

is named for you, isn’t this enough?

 

                               -Simon Perchik