Simon Perchik

Untitled Poems

Though she is covered with glass
there is no wind –it’s her sleeve
waving across the way an alpine stream

is pulled from a cemetery stone
for the unending free fall
over where a hole should be

–you never see the nail
now that the water in the photograph
has darkened, begun to drain

make room inside the cold wood frame
for grass, give up, disappear
and under the dust her arm.

You didn’t wave back though the leaves
still circle down, spread out, finish
as the sound a train makes waiting to leave

–this empty lot is their home, heated
by the scent rising from dirt
getting ready to greet its dead

and one by one burn the sky brown
then red then with the same smoke
take away your arms with the pile

–it’s a rake you’re holding, the Earth
all day opening its hand
for a cloth dress, a charred house.

To keep from falling you fold your arms
the way this wall darkens its corners, cling
from the echoes all caves make moist

piece by piece for a cemetery
once they’re hollowed out by rivers
by exhaustion, by waiting near the nights

another moon would close its eyes and dive
for prey and though there are no bridges
you breathe through where a mouth should be

that opened once as stone and swallowed you
for the wobble now heavier than the flowers
covering the time you last saw it was winter.

You button this coat as if one sleeve
was grown from marrow, the other
filled with an immense wave

constantly arriving as winter
–with a simple twist your heart
slows, lies side by side a great bear

curled up as stars –you feed it water
warm from the same climbing turn
flowing through your fingers

making room for the night sky
the dead try on, go out further and further
and though the holes are weak

they pull you in, are swallowing you
hiding your arms from outside corners
and just for tonight nothing ever closes.

You tug at a rope that never dries
though all there is is a rag
over and over hung in the open

listening between two bell towers
where every word is in the plural
clings to the still wet handfuls

no longer childlike, digging in dirt
for the empty shapes that will become
stones, huge, side by side, covered

with snow that is not a cemetery
–each opening comes in twos –a fountain
an afternoon, this love for you, in twos.


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

To view one of his interviews please follow this link

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