Richard King Perkins II
My transcendence releases a voice,
originates a depth of forgetting
and a gain that ceases.
Outside, stagnation builds—
relinquishment pushes forth a timelessness
spits out limbo
the whale sleeps,
that is the nexus the obtuse curve the offering
the forest left behind
the moon intensifies the world warms you ask to undress
people are arrows or crosses
loneliness is a movement of departure or insulation
clouds are a grey place to rest your head disjointed reachable
skin sickened by daylight
you have been gone too long
I’m asking you again
if you remember the dream
and how it all began.
Variation on Dreams Faded and Extant
Sometimes when I open my eyes,
I can still see the outline of a dream—
Sage Lily Perkins, Age 8
If I open my eyes quickly enough
I can still see the outline of a dream.
I try to fill it with breath and color
but it will hold neither and even its shape
is already fading from the retina of my mind.
Desperately, I squeeze the sides of my head
trying to force the vision back into form—
ironically knowing that dreaming is a release
of pressure and that it can’t simply disappear
or crawl back inside my imagination.
Dreams perpetuate as tiny errors in the commonplace,
specks of all that are overlooked—
as the drip of paint on the edge of the door frame
or a cracker crumb in the corner of the kitchen.
They live within the transposition of numbers
and the split of the infinitive.
Dreams can be found in the spark of misrecognition
and the echo of an unreceived message.
Reality is unkind to dreams,
making them hide in the most obscure places
like in the dot of an uncrowned i and the
cross of a t that hasn’t yet intersected.
Some dreams will be relegated
to the missing punctuation at the end of a poem
in which their dilemma is empathized and explained
but which lacks a properly defined ending
Since it is gone
why must I be troubled by anticipation of its return?
Even if I desired it, I have no knowledge
as to how it might be restored, so I must forget.
I am a child in a bathtub,
a toy sailboat drifts the placid water.
The temperature keeps an unerring empathy.
A droplet slides from my elbow
and the small plink as it kisses
the water’s surface is all I can hear.
One perfect dream floating amidst
thousands of misshapen visions.
O’ sweet aberration, I must forget you.
You haunt me like no other.
A little more about Richard King Perkins II...
Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He has a wife, Vickie and a daughter, Sage. He is a two-time Pushcart nominee whose work has appeared in hundreds of publications including Poetry Salzburg Review, Bluestem, Sheepshead Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Two Thirds North, The Red Cedar Review and The William and Mary Review. He has poems forthcoming in Broad River Review, Emrys Journal and December Magazine.
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