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Prowl of Cold

We ended

with the first snow of October

the furtive prowl

of cold.

White tinged-blue


the few remaining leaves.

Our phone call

retreats from the darkness

an ebbing bond


by towers

unlovely and strange.

In scant hours

you’ll jet back

to a place I’ve never been

leaving words

of still-living

sinew and bone

an afterimage of eye.


The Conscience of Dawn

Out of the relaxing verisimilitude

the light surrounding the moon

dies like a grieving violin

and the last tulips of October

moisten in shadows unfamiliar.

You cryingly offer forgiveness

beneath the calmest lush overgrowth

inviting mystic pink sunrise

and my perpetual ache

into the deepest lobes of sky.

Try to say nothing

as my hands clasp the sides of your mind

but use your mouth prismatically on mine

before god or some other inevitability

distracts us with the conscience of dawn.


An Inverse of Sky

Eyes closed

I walk through

small plantings

a magnolia shrub

pulls at my shoulder

like a fragrant woman

the early ground

still cool and damp

to my bare touch.

What some

would call weeds—

radiant bursts

an inverse of sky

touting the permanency

of animation

informing occasional


on a faint trail

through the nearest yard;


a sanctum

whispering in white.


                                     RICHARD KING PERKINS II                                    

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