Wednesday 5 May 2021

3 Poems by Simon Perchik


It's the rope you carry from a cemetery

with the dead holding on as if the knot

would keep its shadow in place


let no one lift it from the ground

to blacken their teeth not to forget

why night became a night


covered the Earth and for the first time

as the word given it by the dying

who need certainty, who lose their way


when separated from each other, want

something to hold that is not s stone

would never let go their hand.



You reach for December, rip the page off

letting it lay crumpled on the wooden floor

side by side the days, hours, minutes


still shaking from the final week you tried

to bring them back to life as tears

 ̶ this calendar can no longer hide your grief


gives way from under the great weight

that turns snow to stone where each death

stays covered with a night


that never leaves the room except as cracks

loosened by just standing in front a wall

making do with what is left to let go.



Where this scaffolding ends

the emptiness faces a sea

rests on waves that long ago


dried as one breeze more

still smelling from salt

and thee lift-off that's now


impossible from the street below

though you rely on trees

as if for the last time each leaf


would soar branch to branch

see everything from above

 ̶ you reach for the ground


the way a roof is deserted

can go no further, relies

on corners and the afternoon


to fill the sky with its light

from tears trying to learn

how to dry, become pillars


on which everything is built

as nights that spill out

the breathing you no longer need.


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 Family of Man Poems published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, 2021. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at . To view one of his interviews please follow this link

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