Redeeming the Ashes

Simon Perchik


*
You rub one shoe till the glow
rises side by side –like new
calms the other though the knot

stays wet, unable to loosen
make a wish, let in air
end over end washed by rain

the way every death is covered with a dress
and the sudden whiteness
taking all the sunsets by surprise

and your limp between two shoes
giving off the light, sticks out the ground
as stone and more silence
*
It was a funeral :the slow leak
covering the Earth with emptiness
and your heart opening, closing

–now is not the time, this grave
can be seen from the air, is waiting
to be stuffed stone by stone –it needs

more and more, a rain
and every drop next to another
becoming a word and the word

a name –it needs this overcast
–it’s already half in the ground
here to here with the others.
*
Again and again it’s the paint
darkening from some shadow
that stops by, has her eyes

her forehead –this is the wall
where rotting trees appear
though on the ceiling

her breath thins out
as if it still longs for shoreline
–she won’t drown –with just a pail

you stand in front, empty it
and as the wall drifts in
lean over her, closer, closer

the way a sunset is disguised
as the beautiful night reaching down
with its tomorrow and its silence.
*
Each night this necklace cools
till its fever smells from silk
covers the dirt with buttons

and sleeves helping you reach 
for a stone small enough to swallow
though it’s her mouth that’s lifted

that stakes everything on a single rock
for shoreline –just like that! a tiny pill
taken with water and you find yourself

bent over for ballast, not moving
not even for the lips rising inside you
making room for the emptiness

beginning its climb as another hillside
–at the top an old wall
cold corners, the room kept open.. 
*
It was a needless rinse, this bowl
half wood, half smelling from wood
that’s been taken away, trembling

as if today will be its last
though you gather up the spoon
holding it close and your arm

keeps it warm, covered with a stream
beginning to root as the emptiness
you lift to your lips without trying.


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 linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSK774rtfx8