And you still stutter

though between her lips

it’s always night


or years from now

–the stars not yet alongside

have no seasons


brought this far

in the same darkness not even she

can remember wearing


as if it could fold back

by itself as mornings and waiting

–after all, how much more


can this dirt breathe in

before someone stops by

who’s lost, has forgotten why


only now it’s winter

that has something to do

with coming back and her arms.

And though they’re cold

they won’t answer to a single name

from when these flowers


covered the air with stone

and room for your shadow

where nothing was before


–what they want is more darkness

not these graves bunched the way bells

still overturn as that night sky


even you can’t wear for an earring

hear this dirt making the emptiness

somewhere inside your arms.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013). For more information, free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” please visit his website at

Images by Elfie Hintington courtesy of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

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