• Mad Gleam Press

With just one heart and so many nights

With just one heart and so many nights

you mistake this cane for a camera

that stopped one foot from walking away

reminded it to end the wave goodbye

as if the trigger and flash that followed

were no longer moving – what you hear

is your hand clinging to this photograph

the way a map unfolds on a wall

to memorize how loose the corners are

– you limp as if the cane was adjusted

for distances, is carried too close

tries to remember what happened to it.


The hand that is too heavy

once lifted planes, suns

now wears a glove to a bed

that knows all about darkness

and the emptiness waiting inside

where your feebleminded fingertips

no longer can fold in

then yank as if a sheet

would open and just this hand

make its descent side by side

the warmth smelling from breasts

and afternoons spreading out

though now their sunlight

circles the Earth as ashes

– you pack this glove each night

the way a brace is locked in place

to hold on, take root

without air and now you.


This is it – a match, wood, lit

the way a butterfly returns

by warming its wings wider

and wider, one against the other

then waits for the gust to spew out

as smoke lifting you to the surface

– this single match circling down

half on fire, half held close

is heating your grave, has roots

– embrace it, become a flower

fondle the ashes word by word

that erupt from your mouth

as an old love song, a breeze

worn away by hills and the light

coming back then lying down.


It’s not the sink – what you hear

is the sun all night calling its mothers

though their embrace still arrives

as thirst and the morning – two stars

brighter and brighter till the sun

is born at the exact minute it needs

to bury its darkness in the fragrance

smoke gives off as clouds and the longing

for rain rising from the sea – you splash

and between each finger its shadow

begins to breathe, is hugging you

with the wet towel and its hidden body.


This cup listening for shells is filled

and emptied as if the waves inside

are making room for the slow, wide turn

that won’t let go –you drink from a spoon

dug in the way a fossil is pulled down

takes refuge as stone that falls by itself

– arm over arm you cling to the side

not yet the rocks mourners will lure

as shoreline sweetened with sea grass.

and though the table is wood it’s trembling

circles down for smoke coming to life

where standing water should be.


Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Rosenblum Poems published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, 2020. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.

To view one of his interviews please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSK774rtfx8

Brian Geraghty is a collage artist & poet who believes both art forms inform each other. More specifically, he has learned to carry over the process of free-writing to flesh out ideas in his poetry to trusting his first thoughts in regards to building digital collage compositions. Working with metaphor & imagery in his poetry has helped him to compose vibrant collages with balanced color compositions depicting dream logic driven scenarios influenced most by the artists of the Surrealist & Cubist movements.

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