Simon Perchik: Five Poems


Where the sky dries up
these sunflowers scale back
though just as easily

you could take a chance
trap this rain left over
growing wild the way each petal

breathes in while laying down
where your mouth would be
come from a name

written on a tree
clasping it and the sun
not yet a wound that oozes

–you could drink from a slope
and place by place tame this mud
to bend, gather in wells

scented with melting stones
and the darkness
you no longer want to stop.


Even before you touch
it has lift, rushes more air
over one hand and not the other

though once at the controls
spin is what you cling to
letting the knob drag the door

the way moonlight never leaves
has nothing to do with skies
closing in on each other

half rivers, half mountainsides, half
whatever you hold in your arms
is stone, counts the turns and when.


A jacket could trick my arms
help me forget once they leave
though what I become

has lips and around each shoulder
both sleeves fit the way skies
still overflow, break free

settle down, neatened
as if this mirror was still looking
could hear, I don’t see you, louder.


You hover the way each memory
stands by –the faintest scent
breathes down your brain

till its dust reeks from moonlight
and you cover your arms with air
holding them down, drag this table

more than enough for clouds
and though nothing falls
you’re sure it’s safe to exhale

making room in your heart
for the smell from skies
and what they too wanted back.


Its shadow is helpless here
festering the way your fingers
lean over the watermarks

not yet covered with paper
though left in the open
this wall could heal, the butterflies

gently circling down
and under the painted leaves
the empty branches and wings

–you thin this paste
as if one arm works the other
till what you turn in

unfolds toward painful corners
and days without a sea
making room for you.

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 Rosenblum Poems, published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, 2020. 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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