Issue > Poetry
Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poetry has appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker and elsewhere.


It takes both faucets and each night
you fill the sink the way mourners
set up camp—one alongside the other

swaying and your legs half open
wait till it's dark, kneel down
as if it was not your own

and it's safe to drink from the rim
beside the zebras. the leopards
—this lake won't freeze or dig up

your footprints from the falling snow
calling for help and in the cold
you wipe your lips on the wall.


You sense it knows, the road
narrows, picking up speed
and off in the distance its curve

can't escape, plays music from the 40s
—you are somewhere in England
listening to rain on a runway
—had it guessed then how its years
would end, here in Nevada, four lanes
not caring where the winds come from

or the radio half airborne
half static, half already too far
though the station is still on the look-out

and clouds are overdue
even in the desert
—it must know, it has to, the hill

constantly turning its head
and you slow, begin to sing along
have one day less to worry.


These petals taking command, the flower
pinned down and the work stops
—your breath dragged back

where it's safe and in your lungs
hides the way each sky is named
after the word for stone

for this small grave each spring
the dirt adds to till suddenly
you are full height, your lips

defending you against the cold
waiting it out in your mouth
—they too want you to talk

to call them by name
say what they sound like
turning away, alone, alone and alone.


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