Natal Motions


You blame me for rumors

floating across highways


which come to rest uneasily

among swans

and other natal motions.


The voice you claim

to speak with may be your own


or the disembodied sound

of warm intentions you thought

had finally been quelled.


Like a spin of insects

beneath an evening streetlamp


it’s useless to sleep

when you could be awake

imitating life and tracing art.


I appreciate the false existence

you’ve found in a patch of tulips


but I don’t want

an expression of your tenderness

chained to a bird of song.



The Highest Reaches


Beneath the highest reaches

in a yellow-gold field


your eyes are filled

with gestures of joy


and light-blue bends


but sadness and star grains

still cling to your hair.


I rise to my feet


even in an anatomy

of insignia and pins


obscured beneath a canopy

of crippled captivity.


The birds have ended their ostinato

and we’re left


with only a stuttering silence

of leaves.


My dream is cracking open

the egg of a white lizard,


a little girl pounding

on a locked door.


If it’s me you’re crying for

then no, I don’t want you to stop


until we’re separated again

by sutures of emerald green


and pinches of black.




Gelatin Plateaus


You’re scared to exchange words

fearing that I’ll intersperse my voice


with a disastrous elixir

designed to make you love me.


In my guise as a simple hitchhiker

with a broken guitar


you’ve driven past

at least a dozen times


coursing the roundabout

with your left foot tapping out the window.


Cast from the joke of a raven

you dance naked but impenetrable


in a tongueless world of gelatin plateaus

and abalone snow.


The sound you’re hearing in your mind

is only a mortar and pestle—


the killing powder was consumed

when you first imagined


the swollenness

of my lips around your nipple;


felt the insistence of glacial stone

opening furrows of ochre and loam.




Disconnected Flickers


Never does my mind

consider the disappearance of earth—


my thoughts go even further than that


a grisaille balance of stars

and starlessness


the high pitch of emptiness


and the decaying swingset in my backyard;

warped, brittle wood

and tattered canvas.


A calm has descended upon

morning grass


and the departure of small mammals

for more secluded silences—


the faintest trace of your instep

makes the world more


than a sequence of disconnected flickers

running in the direction


I suppose.


Richard King Perkins II 


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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