Skeleton Mind / For the Little Infant’s Bones / Transmigration

by Richard King Perkins II

The Creation of Light, Gustave Doré. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.


Skeleton Mind

Mind paces the infinite corridor
like a ravenous, chittering fowl
where love-trickster Heart has ensorcelled it
within the tube of the first infatuation.

Tchk Tchk Tchk Tchk
is the incessant pecking echo
of a trillion trillion stony keys
thrust into the gullet of a mismatched lock.

There is always one simple combination
playing on the tip of the tongue
to unravel any Heart cryptography—
as plain as the nose on the Sphinx’s face.

Feverish Mind, trapped in the horrid corridor
of its own enamel mind
pounds at the biting smile
of one guileless fleshy door—

more frightened and alone than every childless
mother at the brink of menopause.
Dripping with the cessation of blood,
Mind twists open the handle of an unlocked barrier.

With a starving beak, Mind pierces Heart
in the grinding socket and locks the prankster
in the depths of an everlasting kiss—

lips sealed upon mirror-image lips.


For the Little Infant’s Bones

In a forest of wicked crows
and blackened popinjays,
sinful flight sees the sky
further led astray.

Vicious is the untame world
east of dying, west of woe,
where reptiles horde to plan revolt—
Mammalian Overthrow.

The serpent stirs his army to war
with susurrus evocation,
“Kill the children, kits and pups—
terrorize the nation!”

Walk gently, warm blood stragglers
through your empire of loam,
no room in all the forest
for the little infant’s bones.



Figurative rhythms
of handtools and heartbeats
trace paths through clay to old friends.
Our childhood game
is still being played
and I’m on the verge of finding you again.

From the grasp of deep earth,
a box of bones and rocks is drawn.
Why is it so hard to let you go
even though you’ve already gone?

Collecting the trinkets
and token smiles of the dead,
adding to and subtracting from
the gathered humus of my familiar circle,
I carry your ashes closer to my heart
than a piece of the true cross.

Graverobber, like the gender
reassignment patient,
undertakes the snipping and stitching
of zombie aspects
until the creation is finished
as it was always meant to be.



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, 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.


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