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Simon Perchik: Earth in Pieces/All sores have a story to tell

Image: Unsplash, downloaded ( 11.12.2021.


This well all afternoon, homeless

huddled between the weeds

the way a ruin is restored

with beginner stones, thrown back

too small and you stand by

–they once nourished these dead

feeding them wet flowers

and the need to touch everything

be bathed by a waterfall half shadows

half flowing into the dirt

unfolded, for petals and the crumbling

without going past your arms.


And though you lean closer

you have forgotten her name

–with a single gulp

you swallow ink, squeezed

is at home in your throat

tilted back, black, iced

with emptiness and your breath

end over end freezing

the way every night a little dries

and you drown in the words

you wanted to say out loud

–this opened jar is enormous

and from your mouth

reaches down, overflows

in darkness and is she there.


With laying down and stars

what has become lost

clings as if all wandering

is tinged, calls the missing

lets you pet the dirt

the way shadows side to side

are already in the open

–you take in a stray

that is not a dog each night

watching over you

weighted down, come back

as a single breath

and the Earth is calmed

in pieces, not yet out loud

one against the other.


Who better, stone

knows all about burials

and hillsides –its slow rise

would shelter you

the way these walls

still surface one by one

from some long-gone sea

whose weeds are paired

once in place as the grave

it takes to make stone stone

given a name, a shadow in front

to soak up the ravines

the chisel, the sledge

that go on counting dirt

step by step as if one

more than the other

was on fire –stone

has been there before

–look around, ruins

still standing and your body

all those years walking away.


Even here you rattle these keys

as if this lock is giving off light

left to right, scraping against hooves

iron bits, stirrups half spit, half scalded

by cries to turn, more! get to the end

or let go though you are working this knob

the way all sores have a story to tell

lift your fingertips over and over

as the need to open the Earth in silence

in the dark where everything you touch

is hillside, slipping away and the door

goes back to begin again, night after night.

About the Author: Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Family of Man Poems published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, 2021. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at

To view one of his interviews please follow this link:

More Perchik in ZiN Daily:


#SimonPerchik #newpoetry

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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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