Simon Perchik


You can tell this sink lost interest
though hour after hour you hum
another love song --it doesn't care

lets you shave, take over
half soap, half from that froth
--you are born already worried

and the mirror goes along :drain
is what mirrors do.
It's a little late for promises.

You promise you'll bring it flowers
that the sink will figure it out
--you say you'll stay all evening

the way one faucet is always rooted
in ice, arrives forever
and alongside carries away

the other and your face
helpless even now to flow
from your hands and bleeding.

Rich Ives


Someone slipped the baby past the door like a letter delivered to the wrong box, and I propped it up against the radiator to try to talk to it. No one seemed to understand how lonely I was.

Then the rice boiled over and while I was attending to the misguided dinner, the baby melted. "Ah yes, childhood flora," said the emergency operator longingly, and connected me to the Japanese Botanical Society. And no, I didn't know the baby's Latin name, so we couldn't be sure, could we, but rice water is good for just about anything, isn't it, and I ran quickly after the baby's mouth as it puddled beneath the dove's bamboo cage and burbled melodically toward the door.

I could hear the neighbors cooing softly in the hallway. My dove, perched now in the youngest living plant in my living room, answered, and the melted baby evaporated like mist from a delicate river.

Nickel Dropped in a Deadman’s Beer

To open the door, you must first create it. It’s the sound the insects make that changes the color of the leaves. A dream in which sparrows nesting in an empty room enter the eyes of a baby and return with a yellow string that doesn’t end.

The entree was fog, the wine no more than a damp sweat on the brow of the victim, who could only smell it until it scared him. (A critic denounces his rival’s poetic endeavors as primitive and the door to the man’s home finally opens.)

They made a copper door and closed it. They made a sky.

I'm well fed.

We don't know these people.

A soldier slapping his hand against a post to feel something yells and then smiles, yells and smiles. (A campfire guiding travelers across the ballroom.)

Light being squeezed from a heated nail. The religious beliefs of a hole in the red clay sit at the table with winter. We can speak but we don’t. It’s not a conversation either of us wants to have.