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Spring/Summer 1997, Volume 14.2



Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik (B.A. English, LLB Law, New York U) is an attorney. He has published numerous books, among them
Letters to the Dead, The Emptiness Between My Hands, Redeeming the Wings and Who Can Touch These Knots.  See other poetry published in Weber Studies by Simon Perchik:  Vol. 21.2.


A Private Gesture

A private gesture—suddenly one arm
rolls as if it found the field
could guess where the wind—you

don't see my hand over hand, by instinct
shoving the ground away—it's habit now
—wiping oil leaks

—strapped to a canvas shopping bag
full blown with groggy rags
with dangling countryside—every morning
one arm around this garbage can
calling airspeeds and where in this fuselage
there's some distance left—you

don't see the firewall
or my hand from behind, by accident
the wrong sky and the cloud has changed.


Leftovers From the Sun

Leftovers from the sun that once
had seas, filled as if your eyes
and even before you were born
more tears already adrift in coastlines

and salt—what did you see on the sun
that now your skin is collapsing above one eye
pulling the darkness closer, sifts
a great river still cooling the sky

—you depend on this sweat
the way all mourners squint
looking inside the ground
for a sister-sun, a twin

making the fly-by every Spring
as a fountain, a pond
and this dilapidated shovel still wet
rusting in your eyes. Again You Set the Clock

Again you set the clock: this stove
cleaned every winter—this singleminded curve
kept balanced, calibrated so its lid
bends over the room—there's no choice

her closed eyes press
and the breath you almost entered
—friends still comfort you

—it's your knees that never forget
the dirt, the soft—what you heard
was the need to embrace the sky
start its fire

somewhere in this circle
and the dead wood
rising into hours, seasons
struggling to loosen the small hand

you squeeze: this rag
rubbing the iron black, blacker
—her eyes and each year
heavier, readied again
from silence and cold.


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