Sunday, December 7, 2014

Four Poems by Simon Perchik

You are pulled and the same darkness
lifts your arm around these stars
spreads out door to door
knocks so your fist can smell
from blood become your heart again
dragged ahead as if you belong
near distances, end to end
                        though this cemetery
has forgotten its dead
holds only the invisible hillsides
                        soaking in stone and narrow alleyways
passed along till they close
and what will be your tears
waits as lips, as the sky brought back
crumbling with not a light left on.
Even these laces, breathless
falling to the floor without you
and the wait for calm –they cope
by helping you undress
used to shoes that weigh too much
are lowered forever, caressed
and still you talk non-stop
dangle your bare feet
half overboard, half
the way these enormous clothes
lose hold, break apart, then nothing
to heap one on top the other.
Branching out and this hillside
bit by bit unraveling
the way your shadow keeps to itself
just by darkening, fed the dirt
you once could see through
as if nothing was there to hum
then swallow some old love song
that came into the world
facing the ground still trying
to leave you and night after night
you listen for these smaller
then smaller stones eating alone
as the cry forever struggling
from its harsh stranglehold
to keep up, side by side and stay.
At the end this sand coming by
covers you with soft flowers
that long ago dried as footsteps
still treading inside some shallow grave
smothered  as afterward and dust
–you loved her the way the Earth
keeps warm and between two suns
place to place what’s left
you walk without looking down
though your arms are closing
have grown together a single fingertip
touching these shells and pebbles.
Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013).  For more information, free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at

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