Simon Perchik… Five Untitled Poems


     – 1 –

There’s still a chance, sit
so you can’t see the tunnel
fanning out behind you and the sky
that knows so much about it
lowers this train to the ground
still falling back, tormented
by something overdue, the seat
half firewall, half
some hollow mound moving away
without the others, high above
the evening you are looking for
though you turn your back
the way your eyelids are used to the dark
at home in your hands, no longer
uncertain when to close and grieve
–all these years reflected in the night
your face gives off, clouded over
with glass, holding on, sleepless
–arrive unexpected! grown over
with weeds, with the hidden mountainside
around your shoulders and emptiness.

     – 2 –

They wait for this match
to let them in all at once
–these stars need more time
smothered by how quiet the sun
waits in the darkness
this candle knows by heart
–it’s your usual match, half wood
half some mountainside
breathing again and rock by rock
rescued by the simple flame
that looms over you as smoke
broken open for rain and falling back
–such is the need for a face
–the ground almost asleep
kept warm, expecting you.

     – 3 –

Katherine is reading this
and in the slow rain between each word
she hears her lips closing in
the way a love note is folded
kept for years alone in a drawer
half wood, half as if its darkness
is after something else on the page
she can’t remember touching before
vaguely, if someone older says so
though a star can be born and die
before its light reaches her eyes
holding on to these dim shapes
that have no sound yet –it’s too soon
–she will forget how far and you
what she hears at every chance.

     – 4 –

Once into the turn it spirals up
as if your lips are clouding over
breaking free from your face
the way the ground allows a hole
to rise, spills out its shadow
without any darkness
–it’s just a donut, a trace
though the sugar too is cold
dangerous, flying up-side-down
sleepless and in the far off snow
that remembers you, reaches across
tries not to promise you anything.

     – 5 –

Though it’s familiar this flower
doesn’t recognize the breeze
wriggling out the ground
as that distance without any footsteps
–its petals have no memory left
no scent that can expand into mist
prowling for more darkness
the way moonlight tries to remember
once passing through the Earth
on all fours, sniffing for stones
hidden from where your fingers
will clasp each other sideways
and the dirt still close by
–will smother all that happened
has no past, means nothing now.

My poetry has appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere.

Copyright © 2016 by Simon Perchik


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