Enjoy Being Human

Simon Perchik


Alone in the womb it was your heart
listening for night after night
—even then two ears were not enough

for coming around to hear out the rivers
that would become her breasts, each
holding on, calling the other —with both hands

you make a cup from a thirst
older than clay and darkness, drink
the way all arms are filled with dirt

with fountains and promise —not yet born
and already a tongue shows through
reaching across as the doomed touch

still warm from moonlight and longing
—before you had a mouth you bathed this darkness
over and over as if it too could drink

from kisses :these teeth, the sun
it once was and long ago
lost its shoreline and footing.


You water this box
the way flowers take up the slack
are circling down to reach the corners

who have lost everything, torn
from the rot all wood scrapes against
so you can hear over and over

how dirt is fed, half with grieving faces
half from wanderlust and the need
to walk – you know all about

how step by step a certain river
is poured back, closes in, taking along
the small sea once inside your legs

and now as arms and the wet grass
trembling slowly around your kisses
– you water and why not cover the dead

with shipwrecks, flood this floor
and the flowers one by one
carry it off, down to the bone.

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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