Simon Perchik

Again a lull across my cheek
another line that can't be crossed
—each side the wound
mourners in tight hats
trek single file, invisible
—with one precise somersault

the surgeon lifts from my face
where once your kiss growing monstrous        
was half around the sun —one cheek
asleep behind some sheet
created from the light
from singing in a circle.

You hear the blade
longing to reach my lips
bend from holding on —end over end
the way a juggler works the high wire
reaches out for wings
that can't stop spinning.

You would think this hospital staff
and even the costumes
come from Ringling Brothers
from that over and over dream
where the sun now larger than ever
is lowered with you
with the marching songs, the elephant
balanced on a balloon, hind legs midair
reaching out, trying to cross over

from that ground that never lets go
the way an acrobat still practices
for that flight and the sun
each night deeper, deeper —even you

hear some nurse tighten the wide strap
—with a flourish, testing for safety
and the sky leap off
to the side, used to it.