Poem – By Simon Perchik


Without a ripple this jetty

full steam and though whales

will clear their throat

the gull can’t hear it’s next

struts on bedrock that already

twice a day surfaces

spits out the cooling skim

from molten iron and salt


–you dive into these rocks

for more light, more lift

and your feathers struggling

with that first shriek

that lasts forever in your sides


–for a split second

you build a nest

as if seaweed never dries


–the stench from open wounds

is nothing, claws and now a beak

no hands, nothing


–only your arms know the plunge

from a soft, warm face

into her eyes and terrifying love

washed ashore, wait


wave after wave, expect

that sobbing tilt the Earth

never forgot –by instinct


you hollow out this rock

into its painful seasons

face the same direction and fly.



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