Three Untitled Poems by Simon Perchik

With each handful you dead
breathe in, nourished by dirt
by these leaves half stone

half come to a stop -without a breeze
your mouth smells from some quarry
that has no past -you are fed

among flowers and slowly behind
go on eating, adored, immense
seething with mountains

no longer outside, creaking
or far away another bedside
fragrant with lips and whispers.


It’s this thin envelope, empty, closed
gasping for air though your knuckles
are still flickering -what you hold

was never mailed, lets you rest
read the address over and over
just to move it further off

away from this boiling mountainside
ripping apart, flowing down your arm
with nothing left and cools -these days

you don’t lick the glue -in all directions
your mouth is her name, alone
coming back as ashes and snow.


You count with your throat
drink from waiting lists
as if these stones are nourished

end over end -test their glow
for hidden sores and darkness
that want to circle back

touch you on the neck
the way shores pass each other
cleared for water and closer

poured slow -keep score
let you seal their thirst
filled with dirt and the need

to sip -you carry a small spoon
just to stir and step by step
pointing out ribbons, braids.


Simon Perchik’s poetry has appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere.

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