Simon Perchik

Even these weeds panic

Even these weeds panic
circle around your fingertips
as if the stream they fasten on

knows only one direction –the dead
still fold their arms, dare you
to raise your hand, ask for salt

clear the ground before the no! no!
stops and in the silence makes room
for flowers and your mouth

sweetened by the warm breath
it still remembers as sunlight
struggling and the pull up! pull up!

A ritual spray –two fingers

A ritual spray –two fingers
dripping from a small cup
to pull it closer
–you need more emptiness
though it’s the leaves
squeezing their prey underwater

the way your fever
feeds on shoreline and foam
from an enormous moon

leaving the sea still naked
–drop by drop what’s left
is struggling on the floor

kept wet for its cry
swallowed whole as driftwood
scented with night after night.


Simon PerchikSimon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013). For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at


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