Simon Perchik


They no longer wear gloves
–even in winter these headstones
point as if each finger

naked, helpless, once was aimed
at the darkness all afternoon
falling from the sky, making

a circle –these dead are good at it
have learned to track each star
the way even in the open a chandelier

is needed here, could find the corners
–it’s the circling you come here by
making the final turn as a squadron

with its wing lights still in formation
–these stones are lit by that bombardment
you hear as rain and though it once grew

it has to be returned by hand
by reaching up as if a great wing
was opening, the Earth would be held

lifted and you inside, behind a clump
teaching it to fly again by breathing in
breathing out its pieces as thunder.

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 Family of Man Poems published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, 2021. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at
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