Poems: Simon Perchik


Face to face though the first tomorrow
was not yet needed, waited in the Earth
as the promise to become a morning

and she would arrive between two suns
where there was none before
was the nights, years, centuries

your shadow took to darken, clings
till its silence washes over you
carried as dew and beginnings.


Drop by drop, its silence
holds on to the mud and each other
though this puddle sparkles

from tides that are not sunlight
–what you hear are the shells
darkening and their nest

breaking open for more air
the way you toss in a pebble
just to hear its ripples

as the splash from your first day
still reaching for shore, lower, lower
and flight no longer possible.


Compared to its actors in love
the movie darkens with The End
and though the stage no longer moves

you reach behind the blackening pit
grasp its gigantic monster –four eyes
four lips, four arms opening and closing

devouring itself and the screen
not yet covered with flowers
asking you to leave though the usher

has heard it all before, says it’s safe
even with the lights on, with the grass
and aisles growing over you.


You need rain water, boiled
till the splash makes it to shore
and the egg becomes a morning

–pots know this, the hurry-up
and wait the way your hand
clings to the still warm shell

as if it was once the soft light
falling off the sun, is moving closer
to where a chair should be

have a shadow to follow it
by reaching across the table
surrounding it with a darkness

that smells from moist leaves
and the sap when this table
had corners, sides and a lid

lifted for smoke that waited
for the night, was hidden in small fires
that slowly eat their dead.


With just a rifle, lean, taut
and though there’s no helmet
one eye is swollen, keeps staring

which means the boots no longer move
–in such a silence you hear
a marching song, still warm

from the foundry when this toy
was molten iron and step by step
setting fires with ink from letters home

black, blacker till there’s no stars
where North should be –that
and why are you holding it so deft

helping it guide each night down
in the dew you dead still listen for
is spreading out behind this dam

half hillside, half being built
with so many unknowns
rusting in place, one by one.


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 Gibson Poems published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, 2019. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.

To view one of his interviews please follow this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSK774rtfx8

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