An Absence of Myth
Fainter than the stain of old newspapers
comes her call through iron grating.
I bend sideways to listen.
Retracing time through wall mirrors
and pink cattice—
I found her once before
in the back of an old comic book.
I ordered a world of sea monkeys,
but she arrived instead—
wrapped in brown paper,
jute was her sensible ribbon
and all she needed was a little rain
to become a more permanent creature.
She leapt like glass
through sun shards and winsome rainbows
there in a roadside ditch,
a fiery water dance in yellow.
Still a boy,
but disdaining boyish things,
I stored my comic books
in the attic that winter
and flushed her like an icy stone
into a blackened mouth of sewer.
Beneath the dried bark of my feet,
I can hear her gulf breeze whisper still.
I stand straight,
walk away through a dead-end street
and a scattering of madrona trees,
retracing the same crushed-berry path
that didn’t intend to lead me here.
Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. He was recently a finalist in The Rash Awards and a top ten finisher in the Writer’s Digest poetry competition. His poem “Distillery of the Sun” was awarded second place in the 2014 Bacopa Literary Review poetry contest.