Simon Perchik

Three Poems
January 22, 2021 Perchik Simon

These dead again and again
follow behind as the goodbyes
that never leave home, overgrown
till they gag in what passes for dirt
asking for a blanket or snow
̶ what you spit on the ground
is the melt, making room inside
where there was none before
and each breath further away
though you can hear your teeth
grinding down the word for we
when there was nothing else.


You lift a small stone on top
till the smoke turns black
become a chimney-sweep
scraping the dust with flowers
cut in half, were still alive
helping you remember
though once your hand is empty
it opens the way these dead
were gathered from dirt
each year higher, are listening
for rising air and mourners
used to so many steps :her grave
knows how lovingly the ashes fell
cling to the ground as nights
side by side still counting the grass
by twos though you come here
for work, ask for work
with rags and dried-up brushes.


They still cling to your fingers
as pieces :this cemetery
is all that’s left from an empty shell
that became the Earth, patched
with wooden tools and tears
to lower the ground ̶ by themselves
take this dirt by the hand
already an endless breeze
warmed by your soft blouse
unbuttoned each Spring to show
what emptiness looks like
from inside where you point
as if step by step sharp picks
are cracking open your gravestone
not yet amber or gravel.

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 Reflection in a Glass Eye  published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, 2020. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at

To view one of his interviews please follow this link