[Issue 3/November 2012]

Out the window
dead branches elaborate the panorama

artificial things
separating themselves from
the glowing sky
in exaggerated distortion.

As if you have touched me
beneath a covering of sensation

loving me in effigy
like a rabbit on the butcher’s block,
we find paradoxical refuge
in the cage of a Japanese garden.

Breathing plastic decay.
you want out
but the door we entered has perished
and my hands are dying sticks
too indelicate to release anything but fire.

I give you back to the horizon
with a blown kiss—

as dandelion snow to the warmest wind.

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He has a wife named Vickie and a daughter named Sage. His work has appeared in hundreds
of publications.