Every Door Now Is North Simon Perchik Poetry

local_library Every Door Now Is North

by Simon Perchik

Published in Issue No. 272 ~ January, 2020

And though it’s the roof that leaks

you will be buried inside a stone

kept wet day after day for the echo

 

sea ice prepares from the drip

it needs to drain –this ladder

will end with nails and a hammer

 

where one wall will slip, already

is leaning into another then another

till all Earth becomes the Nile

 

and you are in the attic, rising from a shore

though it’s the sky that’s hidden, collapsing

empty under the cold rain now ready for you.

 

 

 

*

They’re still missing though this tree

waits here for its leaves

returning home as moonlight

 

where you count the waves

from a shore while some breeze

is learning to fly the way these dead

 

are now the stones side by side

in close formation still circling down

for the lost, the needed –you become

 

water, let these dead drink

from your arm, leaving it empty

abandoned, sifting the grass

 

for a field that’s not from a plane

not from the sun or falling behind

–that’s not wet, that’s the one.

 

 

 

*

It’s your usual County 481 though your eyes

can’t smell the straight line beginning to open

make possible the slow climbing turn ahead

 

–they still believe such a scent is the song

brought by a ship run aground for its sail

used, torn, can still be seen in the stretch

 

that has become your heart –on every side

licking the tar while your eyes

sniff for the lost the best they can.

 

 

 

*

Every door now is North

letting in the cold though the knob

still corrects for drift, the lost

 

and the way in that never closes

comes with a bedside lamp

to warm the room as if it

 

no longer moves, has become

the small hole in your chest

that points in only one direction

 

to keep you from falling asleep

–with both hands you cling to the dim light

turning you on your side, still too early.

 

 

*

From here, a train will do, freight cars

end on end, overcome with gravel

that needs to be some place else

 

–you have to leave by yourself

–nobody can do it for you

though you hold one hand in the other

 

tightening it till the rails

are water and you drift downstream

the way a small stone lifts the sea

 

as moonlight and you arrive alone

on the cross-ties made from wood

that is not a river to cross, welcomes you

 

by stretching out, taking you along

with no one where the whistle ends

except the so much time that passed.

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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 Arts & Literary Library, 2019. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.