Now that the planes are gone
the air weighs almost nothing
left out to die and rivers
still trying to dodge, stalked
there and back —on this roadmap
an invisible string curls into flames
circles down, looking for bridges
and just above the horizon
what once was a moon
loses its home in the fire

—the sky from so far off
pouring through me bone by bone
looking for the deep breath that waits
on every map though they don't show
the rain, just the distances
—they like names, name everywhere
but skies —they work the folds

so I never forget how huge
how easily and my arms
climbing toward cities on paper
with wings, with the scent
from streets burnt to the ground.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker and elsewhere. For more information, including his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” and a complete bibliography, please visit his website at (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761