Simon Perchik

You trick both thumbs into sunlight
the way footpaths squeeze the dead
though you can’t breathe at night  

unless this kettle is lit –you can see
where these matches end over end
are climbing midair –it’s the mirage 

heat uses to add water –the stove
with nothing inside, at attention
from the day it was asked.

Blurred yet something with wings
tucked in its eggs and your skin
swollen for a single cry 

to feed on a morning close by
with a warm bowl held out
dripping the way flowers 

still blossom in pain
careful not to leave the ground 
                        –it could have been

some hillside, after a long flight
carrying your arm as a stronghold
for rain not yet dying down 

between strangers and shelter 
–it happened so fast
there’s nothing left to pull back. 

This door slams easily now
though in the dark
it remembers more 

reaches around and the rain
returned to you as lips
pressed together  

weighs almost nothing
keeps both these hinges
from drying the way a deathwatch 

night after night anchors
against the splash
and makes from your hand 

a mask to ward off the Earth 
tightening around your cheeks
two shadows, two mouths.



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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 Osiris Poems published by boxofchalk, 2017. 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 click here.

Posted on October 24, 2018 .