Simon Perchik



All evening by itself

and weightless cradlesong

I fill the warm sink

the way I would a bag

there's a certain care

to dip the eyes into paper


don't ask my whyI bathe your envelope

till a cheek falls awayI save

only the canceled seals, your letters

burning in a shallow bowl near the water


near the smoke drifting across this sink

making up new water I don't recognize

or why this useless postage stamp

is rescuedit was the sky calling out

was the eyes.


I lift this stamp to lay it down

one by one, softer than when

between the cemetery rows

and all those orderly lines

across the powerless stone and my eyes


you send and what's left is all evening

another death :each letter

with all its heart the lullaby

about its heart, about its missing arms

this plume in search for the disappeared

the missing stamp and glue


you send and all night

don't ask my whyI just let the water

I have this fear, this passed upon

this sent out for, this martyrdom

struck, holding fastthe dead


hold fast to everything.

Only water. They want only water.

And gathering.

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



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