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Richard King Perkins II



For the first time




we’re unhinged 

by bits of sun


a sudden flood

of white blush humming.


The powder of day

blows across a floor


of remnant slippage

and linoleum repurposed.


The sky bends low,

close at hand;


we fill it with spirant smoke

and muscular bondage—


if not for 

committed willpower

and primitive instincts


I would have you

right now

in a full-term



Unwanted help

and sunset


would never arrive.

Less than Most


You know I don’t like

casual touching


it’s like something

out of a blue rain


textures too numinous

to define.


But when the thing

I am


stands next to the thing

you are


errata become erotic,

mystery a lubricant


and my arm wraps you

in a graceless half-hug.


Because poetry

is your native language


you repulse me

less than most

Onyx and Sawdust


(meaning the girl

of a much greater story)


spent the first day of spring

bending glass animals

and folding little reminders of death


into jewelry 

that smelled like vanilla and rain.


She even thought for a moment 

that she could be alright


(but that was not her fable)

so as the songbirds left the courtyard

she nearly stopped breathing


suffocated by the treachery of onyx

and sawdust 


sprinkled upon the constellation of her skin.

less than most
onyx and sawdust
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