Perchik (2)

Simon Perchik

Two Poems

Its arms still around her, this dirt
clings between what’s left behind
and the rain —its stones stare back

can’t make out the fingers nearby
easily yours and with each handful
something that is not her forehead

just the over and over nearness
you pull closer and with your mouth
welcomes this dirt, covers it

the way any helpless wound is kept moist
and on her cheeks, something later
no longer remembers, barely dry.


It’s coal you’re after, the part
that burns the way evenings
still grieve in place

—you count on it to heat these dead
though in that darkness
half nightfall, half

no longer warm, came
to a standstill
already rolled into one

shaped by the split-second
that opens all stone, stays
forever in its pieces

—you collect promises :rocks
owe you something
will break apart, take hold

as the whispers they once were
though black is the something
that’s extra, that delivers

regroups and even in sunlight
touches your cheek, unsure
helps you remember.

return to SHAMPOO 41