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Timidly from the woods

you came,

frost asters growing larger,

learning to love the music

of secret contrivances

and the howlings

of orange marmalade.

Lower your voice

for the deciphering to begin;

follow me

into a chapel of contemplation

where I can

reflect on a sky raining hay

and connect the freckles

and flaws

of your most intimate skin.

There’s nothing heroic

in pretending this isn’t us—

the briefest stretch of fools,

fatal experiments

inhabiting kisses

both lyrical and unrefined,


not just for the fragility

of survival,

but for this—

an overture of transcendence

in a single note,

a floral spray

of lavender reflections


to an unsigned card;

a celebration of dead flowers

for all we never were—

futilities of togetherness


in still-dreamt pieces.

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.

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