What a strange crop :the smell
spread out the way this mud is plowed
already warmed by the descent

used to one, one more, one more
though you are circling it
with your mouth left open

holding nothing, moving nothing
nothing but this dirt
no longer thirsty, confident

--what struggles here is the rain
still on the ground, thinning out
as lakes, at most as lips and distances

--here you’ve got to bend
to get a closer grip, pull up
this hillside broken loose

and lean into where this water takes you
handcuffed, smashed against the rocks
and on your knees more kisses.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, 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 and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.