Holiday 2014 - THE POTOMAC

Two Poems

   Simon Perchik

Before the morning kiss this cup
must be heated, aroused
and full length in the ravine

its jittery tongue waits for the sun
to move closer, fill your mouth
as if every breath has a tragic ending

is covered in water made invisible
by tiny desert stalks
and something to hope for

—it takes hours, panting
till the light darts across
smelling from coffee

that asks what time is it
and the kiss that goes by
no longer evening or old.


It's the lane–to–lane
that throws their aim off
though for other reasons

you can't hold on, the map
too slippery and the climbing turn
is already opened much too wide

—even without the landing lights
the straight line is dangerous
tries to get a bead on you

the way stretchers lift the dead
who want only to move again
—take command! do in–and–out

or what chance do you have
with this constant terror
—a split–second stare

can break the windshield apart
and its slow, sunlit curve
all those years in the making

was not saved, its pieces
laid out as roadway and glass
and that half look over your shoulder

to pass on the silence
you were waiting for, already lowered
into shadow and the wings.

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