16 | simon perchik

five untitled poems


The silence that is not a moon
or someone passing by –this dirt
burned itself out though you sift

the way the emptiness that’s left
knows what each rock was for
–you uproot one then a second

as if your lips could be warmed
by a wall falling on its side
–you can’t hold on anymore

are already weakened by kisses
from the night between two rivers
no longer moving one at a time.


And though the casket closed
each corner is starting over
with lips and empty-handed evenings

helps you remember your death
by leaning across the dirt
as the reflection embracing you

needing more light :a dead lake
deeper, enough to cover you
with your shadow and this kiss

turning itself into sun after sun
that never lets go, still darkening
to be what it was.


What did you do! floating off
as the sound these walls make
from the light between the bed

and the pillow leaving together
once you shut your eyes –this room
is not a place to hand over

or wear a necklace that is not a sling
–this room is now a tiny stone
even mourners can’t empty

though the window is kept closed
and the sun too was lowered
is turning into water, drop by drop

carries you along, smoothing your dress
your hair, loosening its still damp light
on the rug, your bare feet and earrings.


As if these leaves are no longer at home
this match is breaking away –by itself
strikes against the wooden door

demands it open her eyes, already smells
from hair loosening around her shoulders
as smoke –you need more wind

and the sky to level out, clear this place
for the stones growing wild side by side
no longer feel your fingers kept warm

by gathering more and more leaves
to their death just to want to be held
as never before by the burning.


Though only two survived, each eye
is homesick for the others
still fingertips, unable to go on

are fanning out as darkness
before it becomes hillside
carried off with this small stone

for loving you, are letting each one
loosen, fall away from the others
still wet from a brother or a sister

or the night washing over you
the way you see through dirt
–you watch how you are wanted

with just two fingers, held close
looking for rain after it leaves
as lips a little at a time.


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 B Poems published by Poets Wear Prada, 2016. For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com