Simon Perchek


You send your hands across but the light
stops in time --to the end
you never hear its screech
and though the wind returns from just so far

your hands are raining --they remember
when once the sun broke loose
and everything on Earth, even these stones
sang to call it back --a soft rain

holding on to that light the sun
still retrieves :each morning an ancient lullaby
thriving on the sun --you still keep
a small bulb lit and facing north

guiding the sun --still sit alone
at a table, at a come here
and lead your hands across the same light
that throws the moon on its side

--you reach for darkness everywhere
trust this distance racing toward you
--at every window you become weightless
and the wall still warm

pushing each star back to one another
--you fill your hand
with another hand, with singing, a light
almost asleep, closer and closer.


You tried to say, Send distances
missing all these years --words
don't need a mouth
for a landmark --they find their way
through stones in riverbeds
in old bread that has your soft voice
your drifting away, hands closed.

It's not a particular bird
that the bath in the backyard
thaws and the water in your lips
becomes dark red :a great wave
come back from somewhere far
sweeping away and in my arms

--I send you distances --one by one
one from this bird, one from
these few seeds
and I am over the world
feeding the world through Spring
through its Winter.

You tried to say and this birdbath
whose stones still damp from the beach
huddle --I drink from here
as in a small cemetery
after a warm rainfall and my mouth
fills with flowers and distances.

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