Five Poems


These crumbs are from so many places

yet after every meal they ripen

sweeten in time for your fingertip


that shudders the way your mouth

was bloodied by kisses wrestling you down

with saliva and rumbling boulders –you sit


at a table and all over again see it

backing away as oceans, mountains

and on this darkness you wet your finger


to silence it though nothing comes to an end

–piece by piece, tiny and naked, they tremble

under your tongue and still sudden lightning.



It had an echo –this rock

lost its hold, waits on the ground

as the need for pieces


knows all about what’s left

when the Earth is hollowed out

for the sound a gravestone makes


struck by the days, months

returning as winter :the same chorus

these dead are gathered to hear


be roused from that ancient lament

it sings as far as it can

word for word to find them.



Before its first grave this hillside

was already showing signs

let its slope escape as darkness


mistake every embrace for dirt

though one arm more than the other

is always heavier, still circles down


bringing you closer the way rain

knows winter will come with snow

that was here before, bring you weights


till nothing moves, not the shadows

not the sun coming here to learn

about the cold, hear the evenings.



Though you can’t tell them apart

your tears came back, marked the ground

the way leaves go unnamed to their death


as the need to follow one another

one breath at a time, face up

and after that the rain and warmer


̶ you weep with your collar open

make room for another grave

near a sea each night wider, further


no longer heard the way now and then

comes by to close the Earth

with buttons and sleeves and tighter.



You open this jar the way each raindrop

breaks apart mid-air, stops telling time

when struck by another, head to head


as streams ̶ your hands stay wet

let you gather the hours that are not

the bottom stones mourners use


for water though this lid is still circling

where you listen for those nights

on the way back as the puddles


water makes when trying to breathe

into a place on its own and empty handed

the glass shatters all at once.



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 boxofchalk, 2017. 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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