You button this coat as if one sleeve
was grown from marrow, the other
filled with an immense wave

constantly arriving as winter
—with a simple twist your heart
slows, lies side by side a great bear

curled up as stars—you feed it water
warm from the same climbing turn
flowing through your fingers

making room for the night sky
the dead try on, go out further and further
and though the holes are weak

they pull you in, are swallowing you
hiding your arms from outside corners
and just for tonight nothing ever closes.

Peder Balke, The North Cape by Moonlight, 1848. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Christen Sveaas, 2019.167.4. (Detail)

Simon Perchik

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 Gibson Poems (2019) published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library.