Rustic sprawls

of ancient stars


display a trellis

of imagined pathways,


ductile creatures

of glacial movement.


Lost in the bleakness

of clouds—


balloon animals,

bobbing the cosmos,


a menagerie,


in a spectrum of heat—


their hidden smiles

could mean

almost anything.

Richard King Perkins III 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 Prize nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Louisiana Review, Bluestem, Emrys Journal, Sierra Nevada Review, Roanoke Review, The Red Cedar Review, CrannogThe William and Mary Review, Sugar House Review, Plainsongs, Free State Review and Milkfist among others. He was a recent finalist in The Rash Awards, Sharkpack Alchemy, Writer’s Digest and Bacopa Literary Review poetry contest.