Not the paper you write on
yet your arms are warmed
the way each mother all night
will feed her child’s first cry
open one breast for food
the other without a sound
though you can still make out
where the flames are coming from
once these flowers are unwrapped
and singing all at once
as cradlesong—you almost hear
the hot coals freezing in midair
closer and closer to one another
—you never forget this hunger
and in your mouth ice.
Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, Osiris, 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 http://www.simonperchik.com.