Poem – By Simon Perchik


You climb and these steps spread out

in those rings trees still carry

under their wings


–you collect height

and at night two at a time

though the steps are chipped

the inscriptions worn away

staring off to the side


–they will be first

spruced back to life

and at the top you move the sun back

–crosswinds can’t be trusted

always on the run, raging inside

close to your throat


–you carry up the dust

the Earth turned away, step by step

this wall all there is to lead you safely

against her eyes already hollowed out

as if in all this stone

there’s no place to lie down

no room for your hand

that suddenly will open

and over your lips the stars

breathing down, count for nothing.



Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review,

The Nation, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013). For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at