Two Untitled Poems
By Simon Perchik


You water this box
the way flowers take up the slack
are circling down to reach the corners

who have lost everything, torn
from the rot all wood scrapes against
so you can hear over and over

how dirt is fed, half with grieving faces
half from wanderlust and the need
to walk — you know all about

how step by step a certain river
is poured back, closes in, taking along
the small sea once inside your legs

and now as arms and the wet grass
trembling slowly around your kisses
— you water and why not cover the dead

with shipwrecks, flood this floor
and the flowers one by one
carry it off, down to the bone.


You can’t hear it, the splash
still weak from the cold
though between your hands

an emptiness shows through
as snow, no longer struggling
lets it watch over you — a sky

could help you now
cover your grave with a mist
and this endless digging

not yet a flower for a stone
that lies down inside
scattered and you are here.

Simon Perchik’s poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent book is Almost Rain, from River Otter Press.