Si Perchik


As if I could blind the man holding these leaves
up to the light, who walks in the open
who even carries identification

who every few steps taps the trees
impatient with the work
or some number –he’s into the millions :the dead
leaning against each other. I

am the expert on eyes
as every stone has learned to speak
by hiding our last breath
–why shouldn’t I have thrown that rock!

How else do I say
everything that flies is sacred
is feeling its way into the distance
into that last morning held up to the sun
–how else will that man
spare this bench :floorboards, an exact replica
a monument to all those footsteps :the cleansing

ordered by the Suffolk County Health Commissioner
and the word pest
next to names on a paper he signs
then walks from the room

from the Earth gassed by his man
who comes for the gypsy moths sent up each Spring
as a dove might find a leaf to rest, its claws
tightening onto its beak :nothing breathes

except these stones –he picks out my rock
as you would litter, or me
trembling under this bench
–he knows these boards
and what to name a wanderer :the epithet
that demands their death
acceptable to an entire County, to the world, but you

know how eyes break into bits if a page
has one name on it. So many millions :you
know the route, the huge truck
.................. coming back for this bench.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. Rafts (Parsifal Editions) is his most recent collection. For more information, including his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” and a complete bibliography, please visit his website at www.geocities.com/simonthepoet.



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