These rusting wires whose hooks
without any bait --even in sunlight
already a net trying to shake loose
from its water and Spring too is bleeding

--every season is born in water
in two rivers that seem to be measuring
this abandoned schoolyard, frozen windows

--I too was born in water
from two mothers --both my mothers
had cold hair, four arms dressed me
as though I had a twin somewhere

--even as a child, before I could walk
I would talk to a cloud, word by word
warming it till finally my mothers came
only as snow --all around me
and I'd yell, There! In there!

Finally I started to climb
arm over arm as if this barbedwire fence
was filling with sea water
was holding me impaled on its blossoms
its vines that never close. Or open.

Of course with your eyes closed.
It's how the net is gripped
then triggered, spun out
bringing down the lake.

Well, it's the same with housework
--you boil water, the pot
dented, grimy, not to stand out
--the sun will think you're blind

not hunting --let it splash
cover the floor till you hear
an emptiness --with only your wrists
pull up! you've caught the sun

and your eyes back --inspect
where the struggle took place
--wipe your mouth with your hands.
Try to hide this great strength

you have --save it for the mop
tied end to end with ropes
the way comets still go down
on fire --with every muscle

twist the water from your hair
and from your room its bottom sand
till the air gradually dries, the pot
stained blue by the flames.

I open your letter and mouth to mouth
this clock slicing stale bread
--my fingers bleed easily now
never completely unfold

--I have to press hard
against something halfway through
hard so you can hear each word
beheaded, throats piled

one against the other
--they were all tenors
wanted nothing but more air
and the one more cry

still inside this clock, louder
then off --in the middle
and never finished your letter
beginning again at your name

still warm from waving goodbye
--you will write for flowers
ask for tulips, using up my hands
covered with petals and grass.

© Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker and elsewhere. Readers interested in learning more about him are invited to read Magic, Illusion and Other Realities at which site lists a complete bibliography.