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What chance does this moon have

the way for a few hours every day

not one drop makes it back, held down


as the thirst that never lets go

and you swallow hillside into hillside

--a few hours! that’s all and the moon


still trying, takes from your jawbone

some ancient sea half marrow, half

no longer flowing through as moonlight


heavier and heavier with the entire Earth

backing you up when the moon is lifted whole

from inside your mouth, to be returned


then gather you in for the fire

that is nothing without the night sky

still claiming you with headwinds and rain


even when there is no rain

--there is no fire left though the moon

never dries, clings to your lips


the way this dirt drinks as much as it can

and everything it touches is want

--you don’t have to empty all these flowers.







Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker and elsewhere. For more information, including his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” and a complete bibliography, please visit his website at

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


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