You count with your throat…

You count with your throat
drink from waiting lists
as if these stones are nourished

end over end–test their glow
for hidden sores and darkness
that want to circle back

touch you on the neck
the way shores pass each other
cleared for water and closer

poured slow–keep score
let you seal their thirst
filled with dirt and the need

to sip–you carry a small spoon
just to stir and step by step
pointing out ribbons, braids.

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, free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities”, please visit his website at

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