Poems by Simon Perchik

As if these sleeves are cooled

As if these sleeves are cooled
and that slow roll
you’re still not used to

left one arm in the open
struggling, almost holds on –the tattoo
helps, smells from flowers

kept cold though it’s an old shirt
given your bare skin
for its years, months, minutes

and the exact place held close
licking the ice from your shoulders
your breasts and the flowers.

Here, there, the way silence

Here, there, the way silence
tows you below the waterline
and though you are alone

you’re not sure where her name
is floating on the surface
or what’s left

grasped by a single wave
that never makes it to shore
splashes as if this pen

is rowing you across the stillness
the dead are born with
–you are already bathing, half

from memory, half by leaping
from the water for flowers
growing everywhere –for you

this page, unclaimed: a knife
dripping with seawater
and your throat.


About Simon Perchik

A former Ray’s Road Review contributor, 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 and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.