Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

When I Won’t Know You

In Berkeley, there are signs for a psychic fair.
You want to stop and while I’ve sworn them off,

I secretly fear we might end then, when someone
says we’re through. But you can’t find a parking

spot so while you circle the block I go in
to have my aura cleaned. Students murmur I’m red

or blue light, circling their hands around my head.
When you finally arrive, we sit in front in folding

chairs and Rachel, twenty one, tells us we were
Romans once: Greased soldiers from different ranks,

one ordering the other to combat, to slip off boots.
We will finish our karmic debts in this lifetime.

There will be no more driving next to you or stopping
anywhere for dinner. No more kissing.

Jeffrey PerkinsJeffrey Perkins received his MFA from Bennington College and his work has appeared in The Cortland Review, The Massachusetts Review, and The Southampton Review, among other journals. He teaches poetry to adults in Brookline, Massachusetts. You can find out more about him at

Categories: LGBTQ+, Poetry, Themed

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