Friday, November 21, 2014

Richard King Perkins II- Three Poems

 Harrowed in the Dusk

Autumn skies hesitate, torn on the broken horizon. As I lie here,
the dark of sunset seems the blackest night of all and I am without
resistance, a perfect fragment, an exhausted insect. The old stars
are summoned, only to succumb as dissipated radiance. There is
nothing left to build upon.

Momentary desire blends our features, a disappearing wonder
retreating in time. Night of cherry woodsmoke and dying stones,
you ask obscure questions. I respond with cryptic answers. Living
without the guidance of light is regression—an untransforming. I
give both up and in.

You asked me to be your lighthouse, but I’m nothing more than a
finger of tallow trying to keep vastness at bay. I do not object to
the pain of seeing, the discomfort of handling. Somewhere, between
the land of is and the world of cannot be, an elaborate dance of
dysplasiac bones, a salve for torture, enables me to grow new skin
and deceive a fraction more, febrile and sleepy, harrowed in the
dusk of an oneiromantic grey fall.

Women in the Pool

To the voyeur comes
the weakest of powers
a minor repulsion

pill of the impotent
which I swallow
with water siphoned
from your wading pool

and drink in your
scars and stubble
your unsubtle posturings

disgusting and intriguing
like when we searched
these bushes
for someone’s small body
after a horrifying crash.

What was that….

only the sun
on the back of your head
or the pale blue water
slowly flapping like a stingray
between you

trying to push your thighs apart

to hide in partial seclusion.

Sailing to Bermuda

Their luncheon; ceremonial at best.
Mother and daughter chat over French onion soup
and club sandwiches, trying to find the mysterious
ground that once seemed so common. Conversation
ranges only to topics that maintain a wary distance:
Politics, economics and plans for future travel.
Ensuing laughter is a bit too sharp, a little too loud.

At a nearby table, an old woman gags and spits up
her food. Everyone is listening, watching in a way
where heads don’t move, playing let’s pretend
we’re not fascinated by this inevitable suffering.

It’s an ideal moment for empathy; a whisper or sigh,
a silent nod of the head. Instead, an ill-tamed silence.
This is what we have forgotten about each other.
Why they must quickly move apart if their legs brush
beneath the table, why they can’t sip from the same
glass. Fully shunning the unfolded scene, Mom
suggests sailing to Bermuda and the laughter is a
trifle louder, elusively comfortable in this cultured-state;
to know what is feared so much more intimately than
that which we hope to love.

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