First on Paper by Simon Perchik

First on paper then the carpenters
following the saws —in the end
the house was divided with borders

where each wall was scented by a song
still playing when the hammers
were silenced the way you grip this knob

then leave a room that has no place to go
though you turn the radio around, sing along
till the static no longer comes from nails

stiffening, beginning to foam as each board
draws its wood tighter around your throat
—it’s a small house, a kitchen

that’s gaining weight, a sink
where iron drips just for the flash
when it touches the ground the way the dead

weigh less when the last thing they saw
was the darkness, drop by drop
opening the corners, the water, louder and louder.

 

——

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