Magnitude

A poem by Richard King Perkins II


It ended when I could become no larger

and began when I was less than a speck.

I am unrecognizable by machines

of analysis and magnification.

Tomorrow, I will be a galaxy

but at this moment I’m a remote scintillation.

Tomorrow, I will be the sound of worlds colliding

but I’m just a rubbing of grass blades at this time.

Between now and then there will be

books unread and compliments never given.

Stories I forgot to share.

Between now and then there will be

one side of the bed gone cold,

an ancestor’s name mentioned for the last time.

Intimacies that never happened.

These are what I try hardest to remember.

Growth is not an adding to—

growth is a taking away.


Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, Illinois, United States with his wife, Vickie, and daughter, Sage.

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