Simon Perchik

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Even with glasses and fingers
each word starts out blurred
and whatever drifts slowly past

before the envelope closes
weakened by saliva and thirst
–you play it safe, try drops, one

for each eye as shoreline, heated
by blankets and salt –you cling
to a dampness older than sea water

nursing drop by drop
till nothing, nothing –a rain
with no one to take hold.


A simple hush and the moon
loses direction, smells
from skid marks and nausea

wants to change places
end up on your shoulders
the way a sobbing child

uses height to forget
be near where the others are
and sideways, this way and that

–you calm this gravestone
as if not enough darkness
could stop in time, went on

to become evenings
and all these lighthouses
abandoned, hardly turning

lit by this single shoreline
led across as rocks
and the afternoons inside.

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 published by Cholla Needles, 2019. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at