Five Poems


You can tell this sink lost interest
though hour after hour you hum
another love song –it doesn’t care

lets you shave, take over
half soap, half from that froth
–you are born already worried

and the mirror goes along :drain
is what mirrors do.
It’s a little late for promises.

You promise you’ll bring it flowers
that the sink will figure it out
–you say you’ll stay all evening

the way one faucet is always rooted
in ice, arrives forever
and alongside carries away

the other and your face
helpless even now to flow
from your hands and bleeding.


You fold this tablecloth, again, again
lifting her dress though your fingers
are hidden and turning colder so no one

touches your hand already frozen
fallen off between her tireless breasts
that still dance, offer you no other way

–you have to fold! smaller and smaller
the way each stone over and over
breaking in half to forget

by sealing this leak in the Earth
in this wobbly table and in her plate
a fork half braids, a knife

between the kitchen and the bedroom
as if she saw in your face her lips
melted down for yours

–you have to fold, make the table
disappear so you don’t remember
the soothing lace, the smothered wood

–you have to trade! and this tiny spoon
that wanted to be a flower
picked for her cheeks and flowing again

folding again, over and over
till nothing’s left in the open
not the walls, not the arms, not the breathing.


You constantly need watering
–from pity and these leaves
thumping the ground your heart

remembers the sound for
though there’s no dry twig
to pull apart where the wind

still forks, unaware
it changed direction
to close your eyes

–you are watered by leaves
clinging to the grass
that fell from this same tree

and never dries
–all that happens
is their shadows taking root

heated the way a bird
is sure each egg
has its fire inside, will fly

with the bone in its breast
pulling the Earth apart
while you hold between your hands

a small stone already dead
brought down from a great height
and left to open.


Again this shrub each Spring
stirred by the same passion
its leaves never forgot

–one heart safely dead center
the other rash
brushes against your shoulder

and goes one from there
–they sense this bush
is pregnant, feed it blooms

and the root floats up
so the child inside is born
in the year-after-year fire

that returns even the dead
with flowers and thorns
drained dry for the later

–a splinter is enough
giving birth always to twins, one
a mast from an abandoned ship

the other floating downstream
nourished by the slow move
from leaf to leaf reaching down

as rain now that the shoreline
has disappeared and in its place
a fence, a gate and the outcome clear.


It’s not your usual watering can
emptied the way an arch
waits for the sun to come or go

–side to side into a distant sea
whose mending power
will cover the Earth again

though there’s no tide yet
only the at-hand drift
you find in bones at night

longing for harbor to harbor
and sleep –you spray
inch by inch :each dose

half darkness, half overtaking
half while the disappearing wave
begins its cure.


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 B Poems published by Poets Wear Prada, 2016. For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at






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