Jeffrey Perkins 

The Way Things Are Now


Find us in the crooked trees

above the wide river. A horse,

a wolf, a lion without kids.


Forget what you once knew.

We’re nothing but charades

with new mouths.


We destroy what we touch

dancing on tiny stages, falling

into crowds coming down.


We live to kill futures. Call us

mad, call us for a good time.

We all need a big night out.


Like what you see? Leave a big

tip with your shot. Everything

has a price now. You made it too—


the decision to sell your name,

your time—whatever you could

manage—to the hungry man.


 Jeffrey Perkins received his MFA from Bennington College and his poems have been published in Memorious, The Massachusetts Review, The Southampton Review, The Cortland Review, Mid-American Review, and The Adroit Journal, among other journals. His first book of poems, Kingdom, was released in April 2020 from Spork Press. He was a 2019 Artist-in-Residence at the Watermill Center and lives in Los Angeles. You can find more of his writing online at