Writing the Apocalypse: Gravity

February sunrise. | Photo by Puma Perl

“Writing the Apocalypse” is a weekly series featuring the poems of Puma Perl, with subject matter influenced by her experiences as a NYC resident during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gravity| By Puma Perl


The night the birds fell

I dreamt of two women.

They perched on platforms

above the clouds,

bodies coiled like snakes

wild hair, long necks,

one blonde, one dark.


Unwinding their bodies,

they stepped out, arms

raised, tumbling gracefully

downward, free falls

to planet earth, a globe

forever in rotation, where

time is measured in darkness

and rain and the short,

hard lives of caterpillars.


The next morning I step over

broken wings, feathers,

and high heeled shoes.

Birds and beautiful women

have fallen from the sky,

magnetized by planetary forces.

Balls have stopped bouncing.

Clocks do not wind, high tide

drifts out to sea, oak trees

sway, waiting patiently.


Birds and women have fallen.

The earth has lost its force.

Only the stars still matter.

© puma perl, 02/14/13, originally published in “Retrograde” (Great Weather for MEDIA, 2014)

Puma Perl is a poet and writer, with five solo collections in print. The most recent is Birthdays Before and After (Beyond Baroque Books, 2019.) She is the producer/creator of Puma’s Pandemonium, which brings spoken word together with rock and roll, and she performs regularly with her band Puma Perl and Friends. She’s received three New York Press Association awards in recognition of her journalism, and is the recipient of the 2016 Acker Award in the category of writing. Her most recent books can be found by clicking here.

L to R: Puma Perl and friend. | Photo by Joey Paulina P Ryan

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