Thursday, October 29, 2015

Three Poems by Simon Perchik

On the way up this darkness
must sense it's more wax
letting the varnish take forever

though you count how high
a second time--these selves
aren't restless enough, here

for the fire all wood is sent for
--in every room! caskets
stacked as if from behind

the wall would reach around
smelling from bark, roots
and the uncontrollable embrace

heating your cheek the way rain
returns to lower its face on the dirt
that never moves these boards

kept open for a dry rag
all night rubbing your  forehead
darker and darker, almost there.


From just dampness, nourishment
and rust seals the bolt
in place--the carriage

already there and nearby, it rains
though you take hold a single spoke
as if the enchanted palace

stopped moving--why is it
a parent favors the weak one
and the crib early on

strengthened with blankets, around
and around the way they dance
in fairy tales scented with midnights

with a gate half iron, half
this wrench, its gardens, ponds
no longer coming apart.


Between two fingers
you expect a knot, the string
is used to breaking its fall

the way her shadow
still opens the Earth
for a last look

follows your every move
--even with the sun
you wrap this small box

are carried off
by an icy stream
tighter and tighter, the cover

beginning to close, first
as snow, years later
over your lips already distances

and mountain peaks taking hold
though the mist inside
is not the water you drink

lets you say something
in secret, close to the ground
emptied out in the open.

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

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