HomeSouthern VoiceA Pair of Poems by Simon Perchik

A Pair of Poems by Simon Perchik

Untitled No. 1

You feed these birds at night
the way every feather they use
comes from a quarry where the air

darkens with each landing—it’s Tuesday
and you still have not forgotten
their return for seeds, endlessly

weeping for a missing child
a brother, mother through their eyes
are unsure how to close

when listening for a name, a flower
a river—you fill your hand from a bag
as if at the bottom they could hear

an emptiness that is not a night
falling behind step by step on the ground
—how open it was, already grass.


Untitled No. 5

This thin sheet has no strength left
spread out as a bed
no longer interested in love

thought the edge still folds in
taking hold a frayed promise
pulling it to safety word by word

—look around, what was saved is paper
shrinking into curls and hollows
has a face, a mouth—all in writing

has the silence, the forever
death listens for—what it hears
is the unfolding face up

the way moonlight
has never forgotten your fingers
are constantly unpacking paper

as the frail sound oars make
when bringing back a sea
that was not cared for: this note

all this time forgotten, in a box
half wood, half smoke
as if it once lit up the world.


Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is the B Poems published by Poets Wear Prada, 2016. For more information, including free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion, and Other Realities,” visit his website.

Waterford Lakes
Mighty Armstrong