Before this field blossomed

it was already scented

from fingers side by side

darkening the lines in your palm

the way glowing coals

once filled it with breasts

and everything nearby

was turned loose to warm the miles

the pebbles and stones brought back

pressed against her grave

–you heat the Earth with a blouse

that’s never leaving here.


It had an echo –this rock

lost its hold, waits on the ground

as the need for pieces

knows all about what’s left

when the Earth is hollowed out

for the sound a gravestone makes

struck by the days, months

returning as winter :the same chorus

these dead are gathered to hear

be roused from that ancient lament

it sings as far as it can

word for word to find them.


Before its first grave this hillside

was already showing signs

let its slope escape as darkness

mistake every embrace for dirt

though one arm more than the other

is always heavier, still circles down

bringing you closer the way rain

knows winter will come with snow

that was here before, bring you weights

till nothing moves, not the shadows

not the sun coming here to learn

about the cold, hear the evenings.



Though you can’t tell them apart

your tears came back, marked the ground

the way leaves go unnamed to their death

as the need to follow one another

one breath at a time, face up

and after that the rain and warmer

̶ you weep with your collar open

make room for another grave

near a sea each night wider, further

no longer heard the way now and then

comes by to close the Earth

with buttons and sleeves and tighter.


You open this jar the way each raindrop

breaks apart mid-air, stops telling time

when struck by another, head to head

as streams  ̶ your hands stay wet

let you gather the hours that are not

the bottom stones mourners use

for water though this lid is still circling

where you listen for those nights

on the way back as the puddles

water makes when trying to breathe

into a place on its own and empty handed

the glass shatters all at once.


Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Osiris Poems published by boxofchalk, 2017. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com

To view one of his interviews please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSK774rtfx8