A Poem by Richard King Jr.
We spent last night watching Lifetime movies—
the titles are so forgettable,
but it was the one about the woman
who was so much more than anyone ever knew
how she undersold herself at every turn
to all the wrong people
until she found herself at a bus station
not knowing on what dusty road she would end up.
All she took with her from her former life
were a few cheap orange razors
and a handful of sock monkeys she had made herself.
As we watched, we ate popcorn
poured from a plastic bag into a plastic bowl
and stepped over piles of stuff
which had lain around for so long
we had stopped seeing them.
The movie ended in such a hokey way—
the woman found true love with a guy
who had written a song for her years earlier.
You asked me if I’d ever write anything for you
and I came up with this:
You breathe cyclones into being
along the shoreline of a Scandinavian twitch
and this made us laugh
until the next movie started,
the one about the college girl
who goes into porn to pay for her education.
This movie ended in a much more satisfying way
the young woman clearly understood her full value
and developed some genuine survival skills
though you found it strange there was no nudity at all
in the entire movie;
but nothing quite so odd
as the mini-trampoline we need to hop on
whenever we pass through the kitchen
on the way to the bedroom we share
at the end of a long and dusty country road.
Richard King Perkins II
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.