These Sheep

These sheep have no choice either
though even in summer
they still want to hear the truth

just by staring back at the grass
lifelike—it’s not for you
they hold power here, let go

nothing, not their fleece
not these sleeves, face to face
—you have no right to stand so close

as if a second sky would wave you past
make room, gather in the Earth
and lift: a small hillside

anything! to mourn—the dead
are here somewhere
not yet marble, not yet enough.

Simon Perchik’s poetry has appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere. He lives in East Hampton, NY. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013). For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com