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Goes first though once airborne 

your reflection changes shape 

corrects for turbulence, backs off 

breaking up between the mirror 

and the faucet kept open 

for headwinds lifting the water

to fit what’s to come 

—you will never be generous again 

—one hand stays wet, the other

held up to stop its likeness 

before it rises to the surface 

as stone longing to face you 

fly into your mouth, breathe for her 

say to her the word after word 

she will recognize as her name 

spreading out for a sea, wings 

to put your hands into 

and the broken teeth trying to hold on


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 Gibson Poems published by Cholla Needles, 2019. For more information, including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” please visit his website at

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