An Absence of Incarnadine
The earliest hours are the slowest hours
with an absence of incarnadine.
The memory of day
is a saffron stain.
A woman sweats,
in bra and panties
alone on a worn grey corduroy couch
listening to the sleep of her children.
to their expectant faces
she professes love.
Never does my mind
consider the disappearance of earth—
my thoughts go even further than that
a grisaille balance of stars
the high pitch of emptiness
and the decaying swingset in my backyard;
warped, brittle wood
and tattered canvas.
A calm has descended upon
and the departure of small mammals
for more secluded silences—
the faintest trace of your instep
makes the world more
than a sequence of disconnected flickers
running in the direction
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.