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Simon Perchik

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by Simon Perchik

 

*

This bird must hear the blood
all day nesting in its gut
slit open to catch rainwater

draining some roof the way your hand
dries from the balcony half feathers
half seaweed—it listens

for waves, each one now motionless
bending over the other
—two deaths from one botched egg

though there are no leaves to fall
to gather more sky for the flight back
and you are singing alone, slow

getting the words wrong
caressing its belly with the same breeze
now bathing it—you rinse the blade

still sharpening itself on its shadow
back and forth till the sea
no longer reflects just one sky

stranded, unshapely—a monster
covered with wings already stone
clinging to you even over water.

 

 

*

When this clock holds back
its scent has meaning
—even dogs are trained

for lies or no lies—truth
has a calm to it, by instinct
soothes this kitchen wall

flows underneath as bone
and sleeplessness—you wait
for night to reset the hands

teach them honesty
practice till the weak one
hardens solid, smells

the way an invisible stone
can be trusted
lets you lower your head

against this darkness
falling out your skin
as silence and the nights to come.

 

 

*

And the sun by a single stroke
broken into rain and forgetfulness
—you lift a child’s bat

that still has heat to it, a ball
overgrown and against this mangy glove
stumbles headlong as further on

—this attic needs more room
the bases are full though you try
to remember the route stretching out

to dry the air Vaughn will need again
but not just now—what you store
is drought, drought under drought

—your brain half rock, half
drilled for this dust all these years
falling from thirst and leaving go

—tell me, who would come here
except to climb forever, not sure
why your steps won’t go away

as if it takes all that time
to be remembered
and softly by its name.

 

 

*

As if they once had teeth, your hands
nibble on apples half mud, half worms
—you eat only what falls to the ground

rotted, serene, made dark
by the welcoming slope into evening
—you pick the way every stone

points where to rest, has this urge
to be useful, calms your arms
still attached to the same mouth

and milky breath, holding on
—you share these twins with the sun
stretching out on your forehead

shining in its darkness from the start
and in your arms the word
for offering, for stillness, pieces.

 

 

BIO

Simon PerchikSimon 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.

The Writing Disorder is a quarterly literary journal. We publish exceptional new works of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and art. We also feature interviews with writers and artists, as well as reviews.

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