The Gift of Water
You crawl out of the desert,
shadowed by a contrail of opportunists
which takes on the shape of an irregular claw.
Hands burning and the rasping of your knees on sand;
how the particles cut into your skin,
embedding themselves permanently.
But even as you look ahead to a small diner at the desert’s edge,
the shadow clings to you, still hungry.
Arriving at the doorway,
the shadow follows you in, blindfolds you,
pours more grain into your wounds.
Get on your knees, clasp your hands, bow your head.
Your knees absorb the desert; heat subsides in your palms;
a crown of vultures encircles your head
and the diner offers only one special:
A splash of water for
Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He has a wife, Vickie and a daughter, Sage. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications including Prime Mincer, Sheepshead Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Fox Cry, Calvary Cross and The Red Cedar Review. He has poetry forthcoming in The Meadow, Bluestem and The William and Mary Review.