Fall 2018, Volume 25

Poetry by Simon Perchik


Yes, bones do have a cry
though what you hear is a bird
lost, airsick, on the ground

where your ankle comforts it
with the warm blanket asylums use
to cushion the mad with screams

and weighs almost nothing
yet the doctor says in time the pain
will disappear and you won’t hear

whatever wind there is, calling
from inside the dead for more
over and over :a small beginning.


You have nothing to say, point
and in a straight line
each stone gives up its home

finds a small place for the Earth
that lays down alongside
the way moonlight still caresses

the name that fired all stone
with shade on both sides—you point
and though it’s thirst

you have no mouth, nothing
for these flowers bending over
the meadow you opened then closed.


To keep from being lost forever
you sift the way this dirt
is shared though each morning

hides another stone
that has no room for you
—you hunt in packs

as if each grave feeds
only on waterside
and no longer flow

—what you join is an agreement
to match—the dirt here
is different, wears black

can’t hear the cries
that never made it out
or wherever their roots come from

—you collect mouths, count
and in your fist kisses too
won’t be coming home.


A handy plastic canister and the priest
squirts something the way wood
can always be found near water

—it’s a shallow pond, half raft
half catch-all though you toss a flower
as if by leaning close

you won’t remember why its breeze
collapsed and carries off the sea—at eye level
nothing but desert: his robe

sand, both sleeves pulling back
two by two by rain for the first time
after an exhausted night

while one more boundary overflows
and all around you the strange drink
he’s thrown on the ground.


Not with the light itself
lifting this page closer
though the breeze already left

—you need glasses, the kind
crystal–gazers use
and for centuries would weep

to birds that go on living
—cockpit–glass! pressed
against your forehead

by wings and distances
—in the end the book too
will lose its slack, approach

with the window in front
closed and even its shadow
had no chance to escape.




BIO: 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 box of chalk, 2017. For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.