Machina Post Ignem by Richard King Perkins II

You thought that I would be the opposite of a kiss—
a machine of deprivation
who pressed an insatiable metallic face upon your mouth.
You’ve seen me speaking intimately with fire
but there’s no need to be jealous
because it’s got no past and no future.

Jaws clenched, I would grind your teeth to powder,
leaving roots and amalgam shavings—
remembering how I once danced beneath
the dulcimer starlight in a rave of unseen creatures
around a bonfire of seductiveness that endured
through the purest all of night.

You found instead that my lips were a gateway—
parted so that we could pass safely through,
flickering unexpectedly in code.
I’m beginning to agree with your suspicions
that I’m unaware of what ignites me.
My thought-stream subsides to inaudible.

I’m filling in the perforations of my precious life
with cacophony circles and shadows of fidelity
only because it satisfies me
and then I will unite with fire and burn every bridge,
every landscape, every pocket of breathable air,
ignoring the screams of a zephyr temple breeze

because this is my genetic destiny, my condition;
committed to flame and tortured skin
the substance of a clockwork kiss
and now that I’ve unleashed myself,
all you can do is close your eyes and  weep when
the moon does not follow willingly upon your shoulder.

You ask me when my irises became steel machines—
interloping bulbs of illusion,
agnostic orbs seeking an alien sun,
a new reckoning of time, following a comet’s trail—
barren and blazing, smouldering alone in purity gone,
where the deepest flame is the most unsafe of all.

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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