Two Poems by Simon Perchik


What did you expect! with just its scent
an old love note lights this lamp
the way bats sip from flowers and darkness

and though the ink has soured
it’s the night that’s draining you
as the arm around her shoulders

–word by word it becomes again
a butterfly, is dipping into the flourish
over your name lit by hers and shining.


It takes stone though your breath
heats by waiting for something to change
the way sunlight inhales, unnoticed

is floating alongside these graves
in riverbeds and kisses –stone
can save her now that the ground

has more time to count
each mourner coming by empty handed
looking for someone else

–stone! without the rush, left in the open
in a pillow filled with mountains, not yet
the one day more as a ready-made hole

melting your lips for their brightness
–every afternoon is blinded
by a stone made from wood

as if smoke could start over
and you hear a long ago name
rising out the light and emptiness.



Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in the Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Rosenblum Poems published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, 2020. For more information including free e-books, a video interview, and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” please visit his website.