Only the dead remember you as I do.
On most nights, I make hot tea
and press the warm cup to my cheek.
You empty my mind of medicine.
You left through the transparent sand,
you left through the chimney.
None of that pointless drama,
none of that reconstituted sadness.
Charged for another few decades, to then be
faded and forgotten and cold, to remain
the grasping heart, the ferocious sweetness—
the dead remembering the dead.
My name is Richard King Perkins II. I am a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. I have a wife, Vickie and a daughter, Sage. My work has appeared in hundreds of publications including Prime Mincer, Sheepshead Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Fox Cry, Two Thirds North and The Red Cedar Review. I have work forthcoming in Bluestem, Poetry Salzburg Review and The William and Mary Review. Please see the included items for your consideration. Thank you.