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And you, licking this reef

July 19, 2010 by · No comments

Simon Perchik

Photo: JennyHuang

And you, licking this reef
the way herds are nourished
with salt –even your tongue
has a trace, bitter, brackish
stings though salt
is what keeps stone stone

–with each lick
another mountainside and your tongue
longing for the ocean floor
for more salt setting fire
to the snow and falling
so near the peak –you clear a lane

for the moon who can spare
just so many mornings
just so much light –with both eyes
you sprinkle salt as if this stone
dissolves only by leaning backward
barren, covered over

and though your lips are skinned alive
it’s the pressure at sea level
that garbles the breath
you almost make out and keep trying.

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