by Richard King Perkins
I’m fond of the ones who leave never having said a word--
the ones who speak the silent language fluently.
We struggle to escape the burning continent.
The city remains stoic--
the oldest appeals condensed on the shores of La Brea.
A convergence of bone burning in ancient sunbeams.
Animatronic replicas explain all--
wondrous creatures without material needs, the heft of soul.
Stopover in Jasper
During the bus trip, we sit next to each other,
growing further apart with each mile.
At the stopover in Jasper, we order food,
hoping it will bring more than an easement of hunger.
I consider the reanimation of once-living dust,
wondering if thoughts can be annulled.
Like worn ridges on a tire, we’re left with separate lives
and a nakedness that defines gender.
Driving past wind-forged cliffs godspeed,
we resist the folding of animus
and a quietness in which nothing is learned--
though everyone is listening; trying so desperately to hear.
Richard King Perkins is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. His work has appeared in the Louisiana Review, Bluestem, Emrys Journal, Sierra Nevada Review, Roanoke Review, the Red Cedar Review and Crannog. He has poems forthcoming in the William and Mary Review, Sugar House Review, Plainsongs, Free State Review and Milkfist.