An Off-Note Whistle by Richard King Perkins II

Every mistake is another chance
and the only histories
that need remembering
are those that were never written.

The music that is drifting somewhere
between teeth and lips is similar
to a song that is lost or never begun;
a microscopic dirigible
floating above the harsh pull
of storm clouds,
the spread of the resplendent sun;
held gently in a casual jet stream,
a simple destination,
the air profound.

With a song that wills itself to become,
great care must be given—
a diadem captured,
the delicate hydrogen of inversion,
a reversal of nearly everything—
the sinking, reductive, first carnation
of second-hand light

Listen to the undertone
with abandoned self and intricate means.
As it becomes more than symbolic,
a thing peculiar or unusual, taut and honed,
expressing all that’s possible,
closing dawn in some forgotten horizon.

The quiet fire subsides.
The simple framework condenses further
and the earth shrinks into anonymity,
thinking down fragility into my grasp.
The blue sky seems so far away
but nothing considered is ever really lost—
the heart is a hideous jailer
leaping outward.

Richard King Perkins II is an 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, a Best of the Net nominee and recent finalist in The Rash Awards, Sharkpack Alchemy, Writer’s Digest and Bacopa Literary Review poetry contests.

Richard King Perkins II is an 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, a Best of the Net nominee and recent finalist in The Rash Awards, Sharkpack Alchemy, Writer’s Digest and Bacopa Literary Review poetry contests.

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