Ear to ear though the tree
darkens the way this saw
no longer drifts alongside

in the open, clings
to wooden boats and the dead
you can touch with your tongue

once it’s morning and the blade
has nothing to do, already
half rainbow, half riverbank

low over your mouth
opened so you can read
between the lines, send back

a note smelling from wood
older than anything on Earth
stretching out till the dirt

overturns and you drown
swallowing leaves, branches
days –you cut with hours

that know each other
that bind and by themselves
filling with clear water.

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, please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.