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  • Emily Louise Perkins

you get to have the sun. the bees come from far and wide just to lick at you. you live in fear of the happy daughters plucking fingertips but even in that fear youre full of hope. you get to warm in the glory of the sunshine (its all you know) and you get to see how your bright color softens and comforts even the sickest, saddest, most pre-occupied of people.


but i, myself, am buried. i cannot see the sun (I knew it once) and only remember the buzzing of the bees distantly - i think i remember the sound by the way it made me feel - like a lovers voice on a phone call - woke my insides, lifted them, filled them with blood and longing. i also remember the tickle of light little bee legs on my desperately satisfied bosom. i remember they felt like warm water running over me or like i was kissing and falling into something. but now I wonder if it if any of it is worth remembering. i would perhaps prefer to know only dank darkness and dirt. to only befriend the worms. they have never seen anything. if only to know just one thing! to simply know a one purpose. to decompose. to deconstruct, change, rearrange, break down into simpler matter for someone else to stand on. nutrients for decomposers, how noble. and so then i would be, ultimately, the foundation for a seedling just like I was myself once. i could help in their promise. I thought I was more glorious and wonderful but I am no longer and Ive found myself here.


i do still have the warmth of the sun, although not the sun itself. it is now hot. it is now heat. I am suffocated. I am finished. I wish i had never thought it could be gentle.


  • Emily Louise Perkins

when I was seventeen my friend died with my poem in his wallet


and then the sun set for me and God was there

he'd painted the sky so pretty for me


and then Cat Stevens wrote me a whole album

he told me about what to do if I lose my eyes


and now I like how my basil reaches up towards me when watered

like a human when kissed for a long time


give everything away! Your whole heart!






  • Emily Louise Perkins

The Rest of Us 

I refuse to be intimidated by your fierce intellect I admire it sure 

You always spell correctly 

You can tell a good poem from a bad one 

you can write your own brilliant tender

that good punctuation 

that opinion on 

It is not a cry for help it is a loud characteristic 

It is a cry We cry! 

No one wants words in the trenches 

we will take them sure 

but only to bring us closer to a steady heart steady breath steadfastness or just trust 

we want eyes we want touch mouth to mouth

we want someone to break through our sternum with their fist and protect our heart, lungs and major blood vessels from injury with their selflessness that’s how we’ll know they’re true 

we want their hand to ease it all in there somehow 

Can you write about that for me but more elegantly but then can you actually be there for me when I fail? 

© 2023 by EMILYLOUISEPERKINS