Inferior Mirages


Your return trip on the bus is distorting storefronts,
heat shimmers bending glass and steel
as you adjust in your seat,
trying to find something closer to comfortable


but enjoying the natural consequences
of the past few hours, the lingering ache,
the comingled sweat captured by the inside
of your clothing.


Early evening, autumn birds come to rest
in the parkway trees as you pour lavender Epsom salts
and lemon verbena oil into your bathwater.
Through the window, your attention shifts


from brick to brick, the momentary splash
of a starling across your field of view
where the painted ads erode, flake in neglect
and there remains only water, sky, inferior mirages;


details already lost to shadows
denying their attachment to solidity.





About the Author

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, Best of the Net and Best of the Web nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.