★ ★ ★ ★


And Time

It’s a lost art, this keeping love alive.
Winters of stormy days have blown between,
seasons of summers and autumns have flown
since our spring was green, flowering, growing.

Miles have unrolled—and time—and continents
sprawled, intervened, from the first step we took
until we last walked away, no looking
back, except when I view us, in situ,

where we were once in an earlier place
familiar, because we were together
then, as yet unchanged and not yet ashamed.
Whole as we were when melodies echoed.

Fire becomes an ember and then an ash.
The kindling once there has been all consumed,
and of the once-us that was, not even
smoke lingers on to start tears in my eyes.

Perkins’ third poetry collection, In from Forever, was released in September of 2023, following I May or May Not Love You and Post-Modern Blues, all published by Ice Cube Press. His poems, book reviews, essays, and articles have appeared in High Plains Literary Review, The Chariton Review, Willows Wept Review, Caveat Lector, The Bloomsbury Review, Hustler, Broad Street Review, When the Bluebird Sang: An Oscar Wilde Journal, Christopher Street Magazine, and for the Wordsworth Trust (UK) among other venues. He is the former owner of two bookstores but spent the bulk of his life as a book publishing executive with the University of Illinois Press, Georgetown University Press, and Oxford University Press (USA) among other trade/niche publishers. He’s an amateur (avocational) scholar of the life and music of Tchaikovsky—and most importantly, he’s owned by a blue-point Siamese cat named Wystan.


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