Simon Perchik


And the Earth leans against you
from inside, starts its turn
hand over hand —you empty each box

slowly, smoothing the sides
then once it’s dark
begin to dig for air

and wait for the corner
half cardboard, half taking you in
and no one home though here you are

opening a door the way every star
smells from dying winds and grass
—you unpack, thinner and thinner

as if the air is losing heart
bending its climb and doors
no longer by the hundreds.

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

What are some things you enjoyed about your triptych experience?

    the poem came into being when the images from a photograph from the Time/Life series “Documentary Photography” was confronted (and resolved) with a contradictory idea (or image) from mythology or science. A more detailed answer can be found in an essay I wrote to answer your exact question: Magic, illusion and Other Realites.
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