Another Failed LDR
I taste him in your mouth, his name stretched
past three syllables on your frosted tongue.
Combination of lime & taffy dreams. Lipstick
on your teeth like perfumed blood. Kiss goodbye
blotted on the bathroom mirror. You hold
phones in place of babies & beaus. Condensed
love pressed to your ear like a conch shell.
It isn’t waves you long to hear, anymore
but merry message-chimes. Acronyms
absorbed into your workday. I’m shocked I hear
him in your voice, your disconnected overage,
the lack of hang-ups as you brush my gums
in your need to feel something IRL.
We all sound the same in text form. You won’t
even have to close your eyes & pretend.
I’m learning how to be mentally present
such that I’m more likely to hear random things
I don’t know I want to know yet
What you open leans against wood
that is not a door you can muffle
put your arm around the only sound
when you knock on this kitchen table
whose corners were broken off
straight down, still lit, letting you in
circle her mouth not yet the room
left over and listen for the smoke
around the hush from small fires.
Just died and its rain
is already snow, comforts
the obituary page
with moonlight pieces
slowly circling down
as that star-shaped lullaby
small stones still look for
–it’s this morning’s
though over your head the deaths
are hidden in silence
begging for water
that doesn’t break apart
the way each sky
is hollowed out for another
–you make a sea
for these dead, each name
a boat, sails, the spray
midair and out loud.
This tree abandoned at last
flows past as ravines and riverbeds
and can’t fall any more
–it’s used to dirt and those initials
you carried along inch by inch
not in some stone letting you stop
for water –you were buried
in the afternoon, late so the light
could close the lid with leftover kisses
become an ocean, still burning
and between each wave the glint
from a clear silence you took for yes.
To survive you disguise each log
as the aromatic sun the mornings
can’t resist –even when naked
you hide some kindling close by
let it give birth in the smoke
that leaves with nothing, becomes
the emptiness though your eyes
never look up or warm –a fire
is feeling its way to your mouth
with lullabies and the small stone
falling asleep on the stove
–you feed it wood as if your lips
still smell from milk and salt
–an ancient, gentle art now lost
somewhere in those nightmares
set off by an empty dress
and along your forehead the light
begins to melt, wants to stay, keep going.
Even these weeds panic
circle around your fingertips
as if the stream they fasten on
knows only one direction –the dead
still fold their arms, dare you
to raise your hand, ask for salt
clear the ground before the no! no!
stops and in the silence makes room
for flowers and your mouth
sweetened by the warm breath
it still remembers as sunlight
struggling and the pull up! pull up!
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 Gibson Poems published by Cholla Needles, 2019. 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 linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSK774rtfx8
Eyes like ripening fruit, an image
Enters, plunges into heart and is gone.
Gather the emptiness in your arms
Until they overflow. Trap the voices
In resin, melt it so they flutter away
Out of order—aimless moths.
Conjuring is the spitting out of words.
These are only words. Let them in.
Freezing in the gray light, the wind
at our backs like an anchor,
our boat steadies itself against the moon
and the captain’s hand. We tack across the sound
where the scallops are hidden.
We’ve prepared the nets again, patched
and mended our traps,
coiled the thick, sea—green ropes.
Our tongues are still raw from coffee.
We watch the wolf moon, still red, Continue reading