Sunday, June 8, 2014

Two poems by Simon Perchik

As if your death is not yet the same weight
traps count on though you are leaning back
putting dirt in your mouth while to the last

pebbles come by to shelter you, lie down
–you will have to die some more, brought
this far by what moonlight has to say

about holding on –you have to eat from a hand
that’s opened till your grave is too heavy, fills
broken into for each goodbye hidden away

as the breath clinging to footstones that wander
past, throwing a cloud over you, boarded up
as mountainside and so many deaths at once

–here even rain is comforted to keep you dry
–whole families sitting down, waiting for you
to walk in, forget something somewhere else.


A lone whistle cut short and this chair alongside
waits till its wheels, half iron, half the way trains
are calmed on gravel beds, let you push

till everything you gather smells from steam
from a mouth that is not yours –doze off! the rails
will carry you between Spring and this blanket

filled with shoreline that no longer moves closer
and yes, the shadow is yours, bit by bit the station
you’ll need, built from homelessness and no one

to sit near your heart, hear how weak its breathing
is windswept and the sky unstoppable, taking on
water and not sure why it’s going down inside you.

Author bio: 

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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