Prime Number Magazine
is a publication of 
Press 53
PO Box 30314,
Winston-Salem NC 27130
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Issue 31, January-March 2013
Prime Number Magazine is a publication of Press 53, PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130
Poetry from 
Simon Perchik

You come here to heat your eyes
hide their venom though the dirt
stays in striking range 

​as shade, lets you taunt the stones
not yet immune to tears and the stare
mourners start fires with–no stone

is safe and further down
slithers across your hands, both hands
​to carry some small prey

letting the poison cool, taste
from mouths that remembers nothing
about how warm the cheek was.

Though your shadow carries names
its scent is falling off, luring piece by piece
the stone it needs for nourishment 

–you hoodwink these dead, stand here
the way each hillside reaches out
with the wooden carts that go on wobbling

as if they once had wheels, circled slowly down
smelling from fresh cut lumber and warm soup 
–it works! Your shadow has always found room

for you, for the creaking inside these low trees
that grow only a darkness not yet the bloom
by itself giving back so many years later.

Don’t you believe it! to be continued
distracts from the front page
brushing against some hearse

wants more time–this newspaper
is opened then wider as if the rattle
could be heard though you sleep

a lot, sitting in a chair half wood
half the way a bell will practice
till its stance feels right

though you are the only one
listening in some great hall, your arms
folded as if they were not yet lost.

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