Autumn 2000


Si Perchik

* (poem 2 of 4)


I teach my thumbs the way nursing birds
will rake for worms, wrongs
and the charred places in my throat

--teach them to fill this branch
more frightening than Pan
than apples, peaches, cherries
still fuel each leaf
for its firestorm :every Fall

color too has an echo, the retina lags

and for a second time you can see
nesting on this branch
--it doesn't take long, you see
what's underneath :Spring

as if a great hillside were buried
and this field only its reflection
sometimes clear, sometimes dances, sometimes
the waiting hurts my eyes
--sometimes I almost believe they are mine
that they are touching this tree, are ringed
by death, leaping out my heart
to return the world
to circle like a goat
roped to a stake :this branch

groaning :a tombstone and my thumbs
measuring the distance once around
forever and my eyes.




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