Amy MacLennan   © 2011 All Rights Reserved


Even the Earth keeps its clouds
on the move though you have forgotten
all gestures begin with a train

setting out—you expect change
and the constant far-off glow
still trying to connect the nights

with nights once caves and distant herds
—you know how it goes, the grass
was always greener so you sit

let a million years slowly recede
till the ice carries you back
where tracks had already taken root

in silt beginning first as a creek
then trickling toward another
—you can hear the hooves

and along the gravel bed—be sure to wave
touch nothing! let your still cold breath
lie down beside you on its way for water.



Look after this rock, it needs
your help, left on your headstone
where the sea has always come

for the stillness that lasts
though your hand never opens
as shoreline further and further out

—calm this child, let it nurse
and from your breast another hour
another sky—let it sleep

float up as mountainside
that is not a mouth
filled with that strange milk

all stone once was, what a heart
still does yet it will never remember you
or the empty cradle-song

half white marble, half
breaking apart from want
—care for this flesh

that has your cheeks or perhaps
in the darkness it called you
by name without leaving.



Simon Perchik
Copyright © 2011  

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, the New Yorker, the DMQ Review, and elsewhere. For more information, including his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” and a complete bibliography, please visit his website at

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