The Voice of Garrison Keillor

          This is when the suffering begins.

          You are the person I will be leaving
          with many thoughts of distorted brokenness
          and only a few brilliant, brilliant guesses.

          Here is a letter, asking forgiveness from the North Pole
          and solitary hemispheres beyond.

          Looking out to a skyline lifted by analog chaos
          I’ll have to wait nearly a spiral forever for a response.

          Like abstract forms created by pressure or erosion,
          there are indentations in my wallet where your pictures
          used to be.

          You can’t begin to imagine what I’ve been doing
          to memories of us when no one else is looking.

          An iguana, filled with false animation,
          is studying me from an elongation of desert stone.

          You’re so vivid, so unbelievably faceable,
          that I could describe it all from a million miles away
          but the distance of a few feet keeps us even further apart.

          I can’t really be in the same room with you anymore.
          Held together by linen, gauze and twine
          I’m disappearing, becoming monochrome in any magnitude.

          Today, I wanted something even less substantial:
          A bottle of air, a jug of frothing steam,
          evanescence of rainwater and fog,
          a rising moon and the voice of Garrison Keillor.

          Out of your right eye— you find Kiev in winter.
          Your left— a cup catching droplets of honey.
          Nowhere do you see me.

          Even if they were never real, I long for those nights
          when you’d sting my lips so charmingly;
          soul skipping and spitting gold.

          The iguana watches in every direction.
          Its tongue flicks out briefly, absorbing dimensions,
          answering dead letters,
          knowing all.

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.