Simon Perchik


As if its nest is too shallow this branch
tests for rocks the way streams
are nourished by some sea whose roots

still reach out for shoreline and stars
already drinking from the night sky
— you wait for the nest to rise

though what flows past is the tree
is the time it takes its leaves not yet
the waves spreading across

broken apart for echoes and edges
that need a place to grow beside
ripen into birdcalls that all along

die in no ones arms, die in the black smoke
poured over them and every sunset now
gropes for the twigs it left behind

as fruit and listening — you settle in
unable to dry or promise it anything
that breathes, that sings or children.