Writing the Apocalypse: Dreamers Dream

Orange over river. | Photo by Puma Perl

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


Dreamers Dream | By Puma Perl

Every day is beautiful,

proving again

that life does not care,

it has a mind of its own


In New York City,

breezes and blue skies,

every morning

another perfect day,

another opportunity

to change or stay the same,

while the country crumbles

beneath our feet,

as it should,

in this world of strange fruit,

the pain in Billie’s voice

vibrating in trees

throughout the land


Helicopters overhead

as protesters march

through the rubble,

as beer mugs break

on East Village streets,

as a band plays sweetly

on Leonard Cohen’s rooftop,

as a song is sung

from a Chelsea Hotel garden,

as a poem is written

in the darkness

of one immaculate night

in this crumbling world


I used to take pictures

of the sun rising

outside my window,

13 floors above

the madness

Morning colors

creeped through the slats

of my dark blinds

Pink and orange

streaks awakening me


As the air cleared

and purified,

the colors faded

and I wondered

if it was pollution

I’d been photographing

all these years,

and how many auras

have sucked me in

and how many times

I have lied to myself,

including right now,

wanting to believe

it will be all right,

while faith beckons,

while hangings

are ruled suicides,

while thousands

of names are lost,

as another Thursday

slips into Friday,

while dreamers,

across the states

open their eyes

to a beautiful

Juneteenth morning.


© puma perl, 06/19/2020

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.

Light creeping in on Diva. | Photo by Puma Perl


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