Five Poems by Simon Perchik





Before this field blossomed
it was already scented
from fingers side by side

darkening the lines in your palm
the way glowing coals
once filled it with breasts

and everything nearby
was turned loose to warm the miles
the pebbles and stones brought back

pressed against her grave
–you heat the Earth with a blouse
that’s never leaving here.



It had an echo –this rock
lost its hold, waits on the ground
as the need for pieces

knows all about what’s left
when the Earth is hollowed out
for the sound a gravestone makes

struck by the days, months
returning as winter :the same chorus
these dead are gathered to hear

be roused from that ancient lament
it sings as far as it can
word for word to find them.



Before its first grave this hillside
was already showing signs
let its slope escape as darkness

mistake every embrace for dirt
though one arm more than the other
is always heavier, still circles down

bringing you closer the way rain
knows winter will come with snow
that was here before, bring you weights

till nothing moves, not the shadows
not the sun coming here to learn
about the cold, hear the evenings.



Though you can’t tell them apart
your tears came back, marked the ground
the way leaves go unnamed to their death

as the need to follow one another
one breath at a time, face up
and after that the rain and warmer

̶ you weep with your collar open
make room for another grave
near a sea each night wider, further

no longer heard the way now and then
comes by to close the Earth
with buttons and sleeves and tighter.



You open this jar the way each raindrop
breaks apart mid-air, stops telling time
when struck by another, head to head

as streams ̶ your hands stay wet
let you gather the hours that are not
the bottom stones mourners use

for water though this lid is still circling
where you listen for those nights
on the way back as the puddles

water makes when trying to breathe
into a place on its own and empty handed
the glass shatters all at once.


About the Author

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Gibson Poems published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, 2019. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at