It’s time! the ache side to side
and across your forehead
the wrinkles split open

–the cramp comes into this world
as the tightening grip
that has your eyes, your cry

takes you by the hand
the way its shadow falls
exhausted, in pain and now

two mouths to feed though one
is still invisible and you
are never strong enough

to lift it, to bathe it
as if it needed lullabies
would grow into your arms

held up to be carried
one next to the other
–what you hear in the ground

is the cry birds have, made crazy
from watching the sky forever
hold down the Earth though this rake

leaves nothing intact, its handle
half unnoticed, half
from behind, holding on, held

by the still damp dirt
floated out for more room
that enters from somewhere

and everything around you
backwards and forwards, covered over
with eggshells and emptiness.

____________
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Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. For more information, including his essay, “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.

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