by Richard King Perkins II

Blinking blue ink from an African bloom,

a violet moon feeds the night its tension

as my tongue dowses the trace of your stomach

in this half-light halved yet again.

I thought I could live with you more explicitly

on the face of the visible world

where we once tried to grow gold from flax

in a season we couldn't manage to kill.

Your lips answering my lips are a contortion of grift,

shifting lyric water mirroring electricity

things consumed by the breath of creation

to be swallowed by the mirth of your spiral ocean.

It was in the old kitchen where molasses had once spilled

with only a broken chair between us—

I had splintered its apron and rails and spindles

because every fraction between us is an increase in misery


and so that you could cool me down with your inventive hands

and teach me that some things are only nearly real.

Such fierce enfolding, I wish I could tap your chest twice

and give you the kind of heart you most need

kissing the daisiness of your toes before they stop wiggling

and the ants return to the memory of molasses

purged with vinegar and bleach

in what will be five seasonless years come December.


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 ten-time nominee for the Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best of the Web awards. His work has appeared in more than fifteen hundred publications.