January 4, 2016

Three Poems By Simon Perchik

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, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com


Before there was an evening one arm

was already at home as that nightfall

these headstones count on for balance

grasp at the small weight you drop inside

from habit, still splash though oceans

formed this way before –these slabs

are used to it, leaning against the wind

half marble, half that survive

as another hillside glistening on your arm

kept damp though there's no moon –nothing

will dry all those years falling behind

in a small sea that won't let go.



This twig could just as easily

be a hurricane, drained then swept away

though it must sense downhill

with dying wood –what you collect

you steady between two fingers

already sunlight and ashes

and any second now

this scrap left for dead

will split in half and disbelief

–a random snap

as if you had forgotten

to count backwards, not sure

once you reach the emptiness

it will still answer, tell you

how to follow behind

well after well, filled

with passageways and slowly

you take up the slack, the unfit

the shaky wearing out in a circle

half sunlight, half chasing off

the cold broken open, infected

with fires that never recover.



And this stone turns its back

the way streams even in snow

crush you under the descent

smelling from moonlight

and toward each other

though there's still some rain inside

all night flowing beneath your feet

as gravel and whispers

–with one sharp stone

you open your mouth as if she

is more thirsty than the others

and every path glows with ice

is singing that old love song

carried in your arms

clearing the way to her lips

and one by one each night

heavier, reaches up

for the darkness and go.

~Simon Perchik

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