Richard King Perkins, II

Other Ragged Things

I am the place where the rain
falls all day.

It’s a wonder how you turn homage
into an ongoing grievance

causing post-traumatic apathy disorder
and the end of boudoir politics.

It’s true that I don’t know whether
you use a brush or a comb on your hair

and maybe I should, but these things
have always been invisible to me.

I’m so sorry that your eyes are slowly dying,
blind to the forests of cerise and magenta.

You accuse me of loving a distant phantom
living in a cloud of electricity, which I deny

but you’ll never know the thousands of times
I’ve so softly whispered her name

to revitalize the bodies of cut flowers
and other ragged things laid aside.


Rooftop Garden

I’ve made you another intimate landscape;
a rooftop garden filled with jonquils and daffodils,

graveyard steam and mythic beasts
protected by barbed wire and positronic sentries.

Walking in vacancies of yellow,
I speak in amber motifs mingling in mist

of the difference between captivation and imprisonment,
the similarities of a kiss to a bite on the lips.

All the things we’ve done to kill each other—
even as our eyes strain, seeking a universal cure,

one more brief world is born of licorice and pity,
abandoned by serpents and gentle crescent wings.

If you feel the pull of a meadow on a distant moon
as I ply a profusion of naked disguises

you may someday believe there is nobility in foolishness,
that withered leaves are orchids in a faraday cage

and that every tiny actuality is a platinum vista meant for us
or occasionally for her, the girl who fell off the mountain.


Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie, and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best of the Web nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.

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