And Still the Sky Weighs Too Much
by Simon Perchik

You keep the limp, stoop
the way this cane
lets you pretend its wood

can heal, touches down
making contact with the base
though there are no planes 

—what you hear is your leg
dragged, starting up 
and still the sky weighs too much

is filled with twigs breaking off
somewhere between England
and the slow walk home.

Without a riverbed you lean
feel your way through this dirt
as if it’s her voice you’re after 

—for a long time, eyes closed
you empty the Earth with your mouth
darkening this built-up moss

sent off for a stone near water
stretching out to smooth the silence
hidden the way innocent bells

were placed along the shore
with no light to take away
or welcome rocks around her body. 

Though her finger can’t reach
she’s telling you be quiet
as if there’s a word for it

shaped by a breath from where
the light on her face was lowered 
—shadows know this, let you

lie there, go over the details 
—from the start, her breasts
wanting so much to make a sound

cover the dirt with your mouth
pressing against her, begin
as silence, then nothing. 

Side by side as if the moon
carries off those buttons
close together and your coat

dyed black to make it heavier 
—you let it fall, lay there 
—yes, you were in love

sang to birds, to burials
though it’s the moon
coming back and the darkness

it needs to close the ground
that goes on alone
yes, you couldn’t move. 

Motionless, on the way out
no longer feels at home
though this single-minded nail

wants the job finished now
wanted a small hole, filled
to silence the song in the picture

in black and white taking her away
holding on—what’s left
will lower the wooden frame

is already caressing the wall
that something happened to
is surrounded by winds and cries

that carry off birds, bent the Earth
and the exhausted nail, by itself
between your fingers and suddenness.

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 B Poems published by Poets Wear Prada, 2016. For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at

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About barkingsycamores 183 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

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