“Transfiguration”, “Sojourn of Bonfire” and “The Cutting Arm”



Black ground eats the light of every heavenly expression

in this ungratified November night. We watch the dissipation

of vapor and mist, endearing darkness further to itself,

betraying the tranquility of nocturnal harvest, the lunatic

scraps of this moment fighting to keep their particular bearing.

In this nearness, I measure the asymmetry of your features

with my own, revealed by a sudden and gradual intrusion of

amber, a different time of a different year, tresses of tangible

air igniting the pores of our skin, and even so, we maintain

that we are the uniqueness of our own transparency. And

because this feels like shared togetherness, we embrace, sliding

through and past each other into other seasons, other countries,

knowing less of each other than we would have ever believed.

I thought I understood the dialect of your mouth, your vision,

the unbearable absence of your regard, the countenance of

roots and persona of a river’s delta, but I’m just a memory

of myself, and you, an imitation of even that. How bittersweet

is this plunder of air, this vacancy of clouds, the unavoidable

transfiguring from then into now?

Sojourn of Bonfire

Nobody could understand the faintness

found outside the song of our summoning;

sounds that seemed to determine

the fate of this coastland marinade

and the exigency of unnecessary hormones.

When I finger-poke you in the side

it’s not to annoy you but to keep you alive

and attentive to the sojourn of bonfire.

And as I hold you here, treading blue

in the absence of Mexico,

it gives me pleasure to think

of all the marginal realities rejected,

the deaths of our previous and future selves,

savoring the music of inexorable downfall;

the voice of the ocean is a cathedral bell

ringing long after the conclusion of its call.

The Cutting Arm

You needed help

and because I neglected to give it

your favorite ceramic cat was never found

and the reddened sheets stayed bunched in a heap

in an oversized trash bag

near the front door.

You made the mistake of falling in love

with things and ideas

and gave none of your attention

to disconsolate matters that created

the filaments of life

or caused the vendetta in your lithe hands.

I’m enamored with the idea

that your choices are cast with inevitability

and even more so with the remnant tinge

of strawberry stain that still lingers in your hair.

I may be just one of the old men drinking coffee

in a donut shop late at night

as you tend to an array of simple needs,

observing erratic orbits of sadness

or I may be a different sort of man

staring at an unshaded framework brought low

by an involuntary lapse of moon,

watching you watching them watching you.

About the Author

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.