Don’t Look Around—It’s This Conch
Simon Perchik

Don’t look around—it’s this conch
whispering back, keeping you awake
the way sailors embrace the stars

with rope when the rigging loosens
as the coming wave
falls to its death in your ear

—a nameless shell holds your hand
so it stays wet when lifted by moonlight
swollen from the darkness it needs

to flood the Earth, let go the railing,
jump from the afternoons—you should look
for piling to carry away

on your shoulders as the voice,
still circling overhead, becomes almost a sea
almost before your eyes.