Simon Perchik


There is no tunnel, you crawl

the way a turtle takes hold

and from the sidewalk a dry breeze


smelling from salt and two in the afternoon

—the crowd thinks the cup is for beggars

fill it so the air inside


will rise and you can breathe

one more time :a tide

lets you survive in the open


though one cheek is dragged

over the other till your mouth

becomes a shell —all you can do


is drink from it

do what skies once did

filled with thirst and emptiness.

Simon 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 (River Otter Press, 2013). For more information, including free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” please visit his website at



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