Simon Perchik

Two Poems

This feeble kitchen match
leans the way a magician's cane
strikes the stage in flames
doves and all, shaking more dust
from that same darkness
each match shares with stars
left behind, in there somewhere

and your chest snap open
for those jack-in-the-box flowers
stretching out, confident
the dirt is warm, has no other use

—you will explode, give up everything
become an offering and the ice under you
weaker and weaker set out
for any minute now and your arm.


As if you could untie each finger
let go so your fist
would drift till it's empty

the way all roads lean
and once into the turn
you check for snow and falling rocks

that never fall except as sand
and salt from ocean mist
and those bonfires all night

lit along the shore
—with just one hand you fight back
wring from this curve in the road

the huge truck rushing past
filled half with water, half
with seabirds, half with another sky

hacked out for more mountainside
—you are forever finding turns
that come back to you as dirt

overflow with its darkness
its thirst with no room
not a breath, not a word, nothing.

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, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.
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