Simon Perchik – 5 UNTITLED POEMS


You limp and her casket

breaking open, its splinters

lose hold and this dirt


is water again, each ripple

wider and wider drags ashore

though the pebble you tossed


covers the sea with a darkness

that spends its life drowning

–a tiny rock broken off


from your step by step holding on

forever –you walk on water, close

to the crater’s rim half wood


half storm, half where her voice

could be mistaken for moonlight

for the one stone more who in the end


is dead and you lift it

gently, lower it to your lips

as if it was a whisper, or a mouth.






Open the lid! if you have to

use teeth :hailstones

left over from the winter making room


–inside the can

its paint spins backwards

covers a rot that never leaves


and when the carpenters finish

rust –you stir till winds

begin to warm from the rain


brush against your arm

pulling the sun closer

firmly on the sill


–sometimes it takes all Spring

sometimes a few weeks, the air

little by little growing mold


worn out though the year

that has nothing to do with love opens

before you can catch your breath.




You never get all its air out

yet this water boiling

takes your hands along –shopping


is its secret passageway

lowered in front this display case

half glass, half with the sea inside


though your heart stays dry

begins to tip-toe past something new

in a box that is not a wound


–to buy is all that’s needed

is your fingers squeezing the Earth

for its first river, its first raindrop


flowing slowly as string

no longer thirsty or old

or trying to lift off the lines


from your palm while you count out

one by one :a language

only the dead still understand


–you pay and the bells you hear

know all about how a bubble not yet dry

trickles down on your lips


floating off around the corner

and you can open your eyes again

–you don’t hear the moon but it’s a start.






This envelope never dries, her name

tightening a faceless turn

that has the sky to itself


–she is still leaving, rising

thinning out while your hand

still damp holds on to a curtain


that is not a dress

and between your fingers

wasted words, wasted years


wasted you –what’s left

is a room half walls

half emptiness, half cold mist


as if there’s not enough light

to sweeten this note kept naked

covered with rivers and your arms.








All it takes are these stones

arranged the way the moon

still calms –madness


needs this care, both hands

smoothing the dirt

pushing a sea into place


as if its shore was already there

would recognize what will work

and what doesn’t –you restore order


just by bending over a circle

though you can go further

till closer and closer each stone


overflows with hour after hour

pulled from the soothing bottom

as your lips and real water.




Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review,

The Nation, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” and a complete bibliography, please visit his website at




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.