Simon Perchik

 
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Splash is how this stone
remembers squeezing your hand
then letting go, covers the ground

with seawater though you
can’t taste the salt
and inside each embrace

the first thunderclap and shrug
no longer dries, your shoulders
falling now as loneliness

then sand — you listen
the way all marble is crushed
drowns from the same gesture

that takes you arm in arm
bathes you tighter and tighter
for pebbles and caring.

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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.

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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.

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Bone dry and the wall
pulls this frame closer
held up, evidence

the glass that’s missing
once was water–proof
the sea that hid this shell

is just now reaching you
as emptiness, the kind
you can still find in a room

circling the Earth for moonlight
for a place that’s safe
though your jaws stay open

make room for a single cliff
gaining on the others
without salt or shoreline.

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You sit along its rim, count
the way this well returns
wishes and seawater

and each sky scented
by the damp breeze
that suffocates its prey

—you don’t escape, let
the warm sand take hold
surround your arm over arm

as a day still struggling
thrashing in nets, tossing out
balloons no one wants anymore

or celebrates the catch
where a small stone
was asking for you.

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 Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013). For more information, including free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” please visit his website.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of eight books and chapbooks, including This Visit (Blazevox, 2015), How to be Another (Cervena Barva Press, 2014), and State of the Union (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2014). Her ninth book, Heisenberg’s Salon, is available now for pre-order from Blazevox. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, and Verse Daily.