Map of Atonement by Jeffrey Perkins


Back then, Sara invited the artists
for rum-spiked punch. I brought
a lover with his colossal German nose.

I almost forgot how they adored him.
How he built a cartilage between us—
Instructing the guests in an essential trick

of how to tip go-go boys. Now, a church
strikes ten, but sounds like twenty.
Unreliable time. I was a fickle lover—

ungrateful. I’m sorry little cosmos
of misters. Alphabets of horse, squirrel.
May you love one another deeply soon.

Climb those attic stairs and look down.
What do you see when I think of you—
do you see the wasps? Their yellow.




Jeffrey Perkins received his MFA from Bennington College and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Adroit Journal, The Cortland Review, The Massachusetts Review, Memorious, The Southampton Review, and Rhino, among others.