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  April 2019
volume 16 number 1
-table of contents-
  featured poets
  Rich Follett
  Dani Raschel Jiménez
  Terry McCarty
  Simon Perchik
  Kevin Ridgeway
  Opalina Salas
  Annette Marie Smith
  Jan Steckel
  Lois Michal Unger
  Amy Uyematsu
  Viola Weinberg
  mailing list
Simon Perchik April 2019



art by sonjaye maurya

        My poetry has appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker, and elsewhere.



Three Poems

It’s a meal, your elbows
crawling the way this soap
is shaped by salt

though she still believes
the water stays young
by letting you touch it

washing her shoulders
with undersea prairies
as if an arm so old

could still reach out
make room in her breasts
for nourishment

and already your fingers
smell from saliva
and empty riverbeds

kept wet for these wrinkles
taking away her cheeks
her legs and agony.


A simple vest though you suspect
there’s a chair nearby, its back
haunted by sleeves and lifeless

–you don’t touch the wounds
undress the way rain
gives up its life for a place

the dirt might want
now that nothing else is there
except the mud-caked darkness

clinging to you and on the sly
tucks in your arms
lets them circle down –on all sides

stays empty for so many dead
spread out to dry a leather jacket
you were once in love with.


By the handful, in tenderness
yet your shadow erupts
and by nightfall holds on

one shoulder then the other
spun as if this dirt would find
the wind it came here for

circle up and cover this place
with your finger touching
the grave skies grow into

and never let go –a parting gesture
collecting darkness with another
helps you leave the way the dead

fill their arms with the Earth
carried around as morning and higher
in stones they know by heart.

copyright 2019 Simon Perchik