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Simon Perchik


Nothing, your mouth still damp

—you swallow and the sky

half voiceless, half shoreline

though one moon is just above the water

the other falling through your throat

draining from your cheek the no cheek

kept moist in the Earth

once nothing but water  —still cold

and under your tongue its shadow

reeking from ballast and side to side

the way one sun dries in the open

the other already losing its hold

on this mist melting the salt

that’s left on your arms, on your mouth

—Esther, these tiny stones

don’t splash anymore, the seas

die out, howling in pain

while the shores alongside

are too far away

and nothing leaves with you

—you think it’s footsteps, Esther

as if you still remember

their sound, being taken away

by a rain that never returned.

Simon Perchik’s books include Hands Collected: The Books of Simon Perchik, Poems 1949-1999, Pavement Saw Press, Touching the Heastone, Stride Publications, and most recently The Autochthon Poems, Split Shift, 2001. His poetry has appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker, and many other publications. He lives in East Hampton, New York.

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