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Richard King Perkins II


The cold ale
of raindrops

makes us drunk with grief;

an empty picture frame
has drizzled away

shivery crests
that once meant so much.

A fleeting kiss
and clasp of lingering hand

may have been the best
we could afford,

a few sentences stolen
in earliest light quarry.

We were wed
in a columbarium

of sleek breezes
and sparkles of ardor

so that we could end
at the beginning—

glowing and cinerary,
in a place for doves to hide;

inseparable, even when 
neither is left to care.

In the Treeline

I think you’re lurking in the treeline
just beyond my field of vision.

In the foreground,
a train pulls into Pingree Station;

signal lights flashing
guard rails activated—

you’re momentarily distracted
and I’m sure that I can hear you


fluctuating nearby,
almost somewhere.

I’ve convinced myself 
that if I keep pressing my vision

through branches and leaves
that you’ll be coaxed to appear.

There’s no angle of wind to make me
think any of this is even possible

but I’m compelled 
to futilely engage in this charade

so if you’ll just walk out right now
from that peninsula of trees

I’m certain this is as close to real
as we’ll ever be.




Scarlet Tiger

The reverse of the reverse
doesn’t get us back to where we started.

The lessons I must learn
are so very different from yours.

The gaze of a scarlet tiger.
The righteousness of destroying my inner self.

The skies muttering rain with delusive delight.

Intelligence is utilitarian—
recognizing the opportunity you claim not to present.

in the treeline
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