Struck from behind and the Earth…

Struck from behind and the Earth
as if you could get away with it
—in the dark this yard

half-slush, half-mist, thickening
not yet another moon
though the dirt you skimmed off

has lost its hold, lifts
and from the shadow it drained
to make a second sky

only you don’t have an alibi
—you were there—on that night
—beside this stone—plead loneliness

throw both hands into the air
—you’ve got the chance, now! dig
faster, this stone, another

the way each mountain range
can recognize itself in the marsh
in the smoking grass and river beds

—plead emptiness, say
you were building a dam, say
guilty! and fold your arms.

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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