Not the paper you write on…

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

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