Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 21 . . .


     by Simon Perchik

Before you even saw a lake

or a river or an ocean

or lifted half asleep

with stars washing over you

—hours old and already you hear

the nights left over from the Flood

and in the distance one wave

waiting for more darkness

as if it had a twin somewhere

—your first bath —by instinct

another minutes later, an overflowing

the way each tide

never forgets the other

—two baths and after those

nothing matters, though all your life

you wait for just a trace

some splash you almost believe

you heard before —just born

and the warm hands under you

reaching out from the soft waves

—before you ever saw water

you learned to cry —a natural! bathed

and the night beginning to recede

to feel its damp sand creak

against what must have been the Ark

or the sun or your cradle breaking apart

under these stuffed animals

—a single dove clinging to the rail

and the first morning.


Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker and elsewhere. For more information, including his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,”(pdf link) and a complete bibliography, please visit his website at


© 2011 Simon Perchik