Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. Writing for six years, his work has appeared in more than a thousand publications including The Louisiana Review, Bluestem, Emrys Journal, Sierra Nevada Review, Roanoke Review, The Red Cedar Review and The William and Mary Review. He has poems forthcoming in Hawai’i Review, Sugar House Review, Plainsongs, Free State Review and Texas Review.
The Soldering Point
As when living is the newest thrill
roots becoming rooted
I begin to consider first words,
an initial impression becoming intimacy--
it’s you and it should be you; my partner
in beneficent laughter and the bestowing of rings,
comforting with chrysanthemums
and the nectar of hummingbirds.
But within exhilaration and discovered serendipity,
respiring bells offer perpetual intervention;
the completion of a full circle, the soldering point,
a small crown resting infinitely above you.
The rich bruise of deepest space
pulses with sacerdotal smiles
upon the ludus of your skin,
the exigence of your willing capacity.
But if you’re trying to assert the shibboleth
of your demi-humanity--
waiting for sanguine completion
in a form
only you can envision;
then I’m only a sad approximation
or even a total apostasy
of all that you once imagined.
Still, if there’s a possibility;
something beyond chemicals and science
and the farrago of simple faith,
I will come to you in that
wearing the guise of your childhood prayers
and press myself
into your sad absence
until your throat sighs
and you believe in a moment of eternity
and that the laughing gods of infinity
are somehow satisfied as well.
Breakdown of the Given World
When I was asked what other era I’d live in if given the choice
I said “Any dystopian future. The war against the machines,
zombie apocalypse, alien invasion, gamma world or thought-police state
would all be acceptable.”
I thought I was being funny but I’m usually not
so I’ve been forced to take my answer seriously--
I’ll do best in a time when lying, risk-taking and guiltlessness
have become first-nature.
In a handful of years, when the first few billion are enslaved or dead
and I show up at your cave or bunker, I’ll tell you that I’m here to help.
My smile will appear as a fowler’s snare of sincerity.
The feathers wedged in the corners of my mouth will be ignored.
I don’t remember what you said that first night--
slenderly in light extinguished,
the curving pleasure of incalculable intimacy.
I’m learning to enjoy the soft rain
and the tenuous tresses on my skin
as you fill my lungs with color and gratification.
The dissonance of our carillon
splinters the metaphor we thought we were--
strains of human moonlight swooped upon earth.
But this is only the other side of something blue.
We’ve become a distortion of understanding,
advocates of a ruthless love begging mercy.
You tell me that you think we deserve a testament
filled with burgeoning powerful clarity like we found
last night in the flesh reverie that could only be now.
When time crawls sideways
I experience your neck, back, breasts, thighs
in infinite variety--
a hallucinogen in starlight;
and in the background
the old man sings on
with poetry surpassing finite.