September 13, 2017

Three Untitled Poems by Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Osiris Poems published by box of chalk, 2017. For more information, including free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” please visit his website at


With the rigging that lowers sails
you dead anchor : every grave
becomes a full-blown sea

though you keep dry
the way rafters are gathered
for dust as a place to rest

be showered by minute by minute
and the small sparks mourners leave
to jump-start the night sky

–between two afternoons
you are burning rope
as if there was a name for it

and now, lit, where nothing shines
but this shadow you let come closer
stay, tired from the start.


All those nights two suns running free
–with a clear look at each other
could see how bright her face becomes

when the window pane unfolds on fire
spreads out that long-ago afternoon
end over end though the shade

is reaching for the sill – a constellation
and still her arms are frozen open
as if this snapshot was trying to breathe twice

make you think you are covering her eyes
are in the room alone, holding on to what’s left
letting it flicker, wait for something in the light

to move closer together, fit into her mouth
so it can see you as the bed no longer made
as the wall and empty picture frame.


This coffee is still learning, spills
sweetens night after night
the way fireflies flavor their legs

then wait for the rippling hum
that’s not a bat – you teach this cup
smoke, emptiness and what it’s like

to lean across as come right in
let you sip from the black dress
spreading out as mountainside

–with your eyes closed, with honey
you convince this cup to clasp your hand
move it closer to the other

though the darkness already smells
from flypaper, from your elbows
holding on to the wooden table.

©Simon Perchik

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