This watchband kept alive
pulled over my wrist—what you hear
are paws—the hours disappear
stumbling to the end

—you hear its loping gait
in circles, restless—I try to wave
or swipe or its heart still beating
grasped till the sun—my hand

covered with blood and hammerblows
and claws—this pelt kept warm
full length, smelling from shovels and hope

as if a great tendon and over my head
the Earth itself, the loosening
—another ditch torn out
—you can hear the dirt
the shallow footholds, the hand to hand.

—Simon Perchik


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