Simon Perchik


Simon Perchik lives in New York. His poetry has appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere.



Her chest no longer listening
though both your arms stay folded
one over the other, wet
the way these dead dare each night
to arrive without them –you stand in front
shirtless, refuse to shake hands
or take from her grave the rocks you left
as a threat to the others not to take what’s hers
not the dirt between the afternoons
not your fingertips, not this rain
growing more and more beautiful
over her breasts, homesick as a flower.


It was a funeral :the slow leak
covering the Earth with emptiness
and your heart opening, closing
–now is not the time, this grave
can be seen from the air, is waiting
to be stuffed stone by stone –it needs
more and more, a rain
and every drop next to another
becoming a word and the word
a name –it needs this overcast
–it’s already half in the ground
here to here with the others.


Again and again it’s the paint
darkening from some shadow
that stops by, has her eyes
her forehead –this is the wall
where rotting trees appear
though on the ceiling

her breath thins out
as if it still longs for shoreline
–she won’t drown –with just a pail
you stand in front, empty it
and as the wall drifts in
lean over her, closer, closer
the way a sunset is disguised
as the beautiful night reaching down
with its tomorrow and its silence.



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