Simon Perchik



You try to hide the way all hillsides

are warmed from inside and sunlight

useless, begin each breath


in a mouth far off, lit by thirst

and those slow lips where evenings

come to listen—it's an old sun, one


you're never sure will be a morning

let you surface again, go

as if you were leaving a heart


to give yourself up :a breath

that would empty the Earth—even so

it begins inside a whisper not yet


a mound, with a shadow all its own

spreading out your flowers—a harbor

smelling from distance and spray.



You have a feel for place to place

fresh from the ground and trains

stopping by to check the gates


each station and even in winter

arrives late, surrounded

by a drizzle against the window pane


and your hair can't dry, is trapped

inside this old hat half stone, half

crushed, half its hot-shot tilt


in so many directions at once

falling along the tracks

without a sound covers your forehead


lets it grow old and escape again

is possible without more rain

looking for help or the barracks.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled "Magic, Illusion and Other Realities" and a
complete bibliography, please visit his website at 



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