Simon Perchik



This bird must hear the blood

all day nesting in its gut

slit open to catch rainwater


draining some roof the way your hand

dries from the balcony half feathers

half seaweed—it listens


for waves, each one now motionless

bending over the other

—two deaths from one botched egg


though there are no leaves to fall

to gather more sky for the flight back

and you are singing alone, slow


getting the words wrong

caressing its belly with the same breeze

now bathing it—you rinse the blade


still sharpening itself on its shadow

back and forth till the sea

no longer reflects just one sky


stranded, unshapely—a monster

covered with wings already stone

clinging to you even over water.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013). For more information, free e-books, and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at



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