Sunday, May 22, 2016

Five 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

Not yet finished melting :the sun
–you can hear its sea struggling
spilling over though each morning

it comes from behind now
brushes against this cemetery gate
that’s still shining, floating past

–to this day you go home
the back way –you don’t see
your reflection or the ground

face to face with shoreline
–what you hear are waves :one hand
reaching for another and in the dark

you let your fingers unfold end over end
then close, gather in these fountains
as if they belong one side then another

are nearly too much stone –here
where this gate is filling its lungs
and you tearing it in two.

Again The Times, spread-eagle
the way these subway doors
once were waves opening out

as the faint wings beating now
between your arms and the track
–a dark, single thread

pulls this sea under
though on the bottom
you can’t be sure it’s morning

or two shorelines, side by side
crawling into that slow, climbing turn
half sand, half you never get used to

–page over page
covered with weeds :feathers
from a long way off  –you can touch

their darkness :words still dangerous
circling with seabirds :your eyes
don’t want you, are closed.

Lower and lower this fan
smells from stone and the ice
broken off your forehead 

still in the same, tight turn
holding on, almost back –you stare
even with sunglasses, the ones

you wear at funerals, cooled
the way this small room
has already started as snow

not yet the invisible arm in arm
louder and louder overhead
without a trace and no place to go

to harden, take hold, darken
let its wings down, close
your eyes and the ceiling.

Appearing and disappearing, this gate
you wave between one hand
after the other and doves on cue

break through the way each flourish
opens midair, is helped along
clearing the rooftops, palms up

–on your back as the aimless path
that has such low windows
–from nowhere, no longer white

each stone is closing its wings
letting go the sky, the graves
and just as suddenly your shoulders.

These graves listen to you
though they lean too far
half side to side, half

taking hold your spine, blinded
in front by sunlight, in back
by its endless bending down

as if together these bones
would steady you, in time
your limp disappear

already the small stones
buried here, there, in the open
to tell you what happened.

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