KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Poem: 202 words

Natural Deceptions

by Richard King Perkins II

You’re not quite invisible
but you are part of a range of natural deceptions.

This was how your photo was omitted
from the middle school yearbook.

When the line of buses pulled away without you
no one even waved.

You spend most of your time
taking pictures of things which don’t exist:

Sun pillars and mock star shine
obscured by starfish

using free speech perpendicularly
in a rise of lenticular clouds.

In my eyes, you’re the girl who asks for sad songs
because more than anything, you like to cry.

Spiral carvings are the signs of an elusive visitor;
an interior world pumiced in a harbor of isolation.

Pale lilac and soft blue lights
bathe the mists of New Hampshire

and I look toward where you sleep standing up,
a body suspended between the specter of two mountains

near a group of isolated aspen trees on a sandy plain.
It wasn’t surprising that your teachers all called you

names other than your own. On your interrupted journey
of timelessness and sensory deprivation

I think I’ve identified you as something
hovering between cirrus and tumulus

and that the space between your lower lip and chin
represents a universal system of measurement.


Richard King Perkins II
Issue 8, August 2017

is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, Illinois, 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 including The Louisiana Review, Plainsongs, Texas Review, Hawai’i Review, Roanoke Review, Sugar House Review, and The William and Mary Review. His poem, “Grease Poet,” was a winner of the Woodrow Hall Top Shelf Awards 2016, for enduring excellence. His poem, “Nemesis,” won the 2015 Songs of Eretz Editor’s Choice Award.

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