A poem by Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013). For more information, free e-books, and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com

Goes first though once airborne
your reflection changes shape
corrects for turbulence, backs off

breaking up between the mirror
and the faucet kept open
for headwinds lifting the water

to fit with what's to come
—you will never be generous again
—one hand stays wet, the other

held up to stop its likeness
before it rises to the surface
as stone longing to face you

fly into your mouth, breathe for her
say to her the word after word
she will recognize as her name

spreading out for a sea, wings
to put your hands into
and the broken teeth trying to hold on.

Don't move closer—with such talk
you back down, hands more on your chest
than hiding from the moon behind the moon

to cool as dirt left over for shadows
and the suffocating shovel after shovel
falling from a sky already back—you dead

have given up the whisper, its flames
called off with a single yell
ripping open the narrow space

between its memory and the surprise
when an embrace covers your head
the way this gravestone turns green each Spring

shines from the breath bent over your name
come back for you and flowers
warmed by this comb breaking in half.