Two poems by Simon Perchik

Though they give nothing back
they’re weak and in the bargain
both eyes are overgrown

with branches, with hillsides
calling out from the dirt
that no longer knows the difference

–what they can still point to
you drink as thighs and breasts
and rainwater stroking the Earth

shaking it, almost a mouth
almost a sun, a smell
burning between, half roots

half far away, half squint
and your heart too is emptying
struggling, moist, around you.


Ankle deep and these stars
expect you to come by
stomp out their flames

the way each sky
keeps its place in line
–even before there was rain

you needed streams
and slowly through your legs
the heart you have left

lets go these footsteps
shining in water
as if here is the fire

still beating as nights
as hair and lips
and overflowing.

Simon Perchik’s poetry has also appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere.  Visit him at


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