Enjoy Being Human

Simon Perchik


Even the sky gets old
bent over, tries to hear
and what's left has trouble breathing

creaks and this weather vane
half fish, half by heart
turns its roof upstream

is breaking apart from age
and that dried in the bone
death march — you never forget

where each star falls
exhausted, the step by step
leading to a tired woman

and the room whose door
becomes impaled on the warm bed
when you enter.


Struck from behind and the Earth
as if you could get away with it
—in the dark this yard

half slush, half mist, thickening
not yet another moon
though the dirt you skimmed off

has lost its hold, lifts
and from the shadow it drained
to make a second sky

only you don't have an alibi
—you were there —on that night
—beside this stone —plead loneliness

throw both hands into the air
—you've got the chance, now! dig
faster, this stone, another

the way each mountain range
can recognize itself in the marsh
in the smoking grass and river beds

—plead emptiness, say
you were building a dam, say
guilty! and fold your arms.


It's easy once a mourner leaves
and the echo pinpoints where in the ground
is the sound when the sun
first rubbed against this unmovable dark

—you dead learn early, the dirt
not yet grass and your mouth
once rain is again a mouth
as if there's some air left in water

nourished by pebbles
and between your lips
the grass steadies this headstone
takes a fix on where you are
and the constant harvest.

About Simon Perchik

Contributor headshot, Simon Perchik

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

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