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Friday, October 23, 2009


by Simon Perchik

Using both hands now, this bulb
flickering the way goldfish
reckless in the inflammable water

--this clouded bulb is dangerous
without a name --I call its light
Old Blue and the Earth just beginning

is cooled by firestones
that would become rainwater
--I call this lamp Smoke

play it safe, a second name
alongside the other :my hands
filled with light

even before there were eyes
before fingers would beg for curvature
and the watchful hand on my forehead

--I close my eyes :a fast
to allow my skull --the change
is so slow --there never was enough room

for the eyes, for the tears
the storm after storm --you dead
are always thirsty and I can't fix

this throwaway bulb, throwaway light
--I just give it two names
and more darkness, wait for you

near these loving candles, loving matches
and the glass cage with still more water
locked in as if one explosion more

would lay open another sun
and this ice into a clear stream
into your brief happiness.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. Readers interested in learning more are invited to read Magic, Illusion and Other Realities at which site lists a complete bibliography