Lighthouse. | God Is the Ultimate Party Planner. | On Snow. | On Loneliness. By Alexander Perez

Remember we said we would get to the beacon one day?

With driftwood, boys joust
Girls shape hearts with shells
beside the darkened lighthouse

Teenage boys start a bonfire
Teenage girls monogram the sand
beside the darkened lighthouse

Now we say there have been too many tides.

God Is the Ultimate Party Planner.
I had a tiny thought
As I went to sleep
That inflated like a balloon
And before I could snip the thread
To let it go
I found myself trapped inside it.
What started small became profound
Until I started to wonder
If there was anything at all
Except the balloon I was in.
And the balloon kept expanding
Until I became the balloon.
Eventually there was nothing else
Besides it great and big.
It was frightening to think
Of the universe as a balloon
Especially one on the verge of popping!
This might be the end of everything.
Can you imagine my despair
When I began to think of the
Possibility of no more balloon?
I felt deflated
And fell asleep.

On Snow.
It carries in its heart
A speck of dust
Around which grows
Ice bones
A crystal skeleton

Bloodless downfall
Dazed and dazzling
A wonder for both
Or Madonnas

Winter opens her
Store-house of white
Stockpiled over summer
And out of the blue door
Comes bursting

Of consecrated elements
Homely, handicrafted gifts
Of lattice work, arabesque
Knit and lace
Earthenware glazed

I went to see the aftermath
And the piercing
Colorless cyclone
Hung in shreds
Over all like flags of surrender

On the walk through the land
Overgrown with rushes
You shuddered cold as a key
But you kept on silent, believing
Nature called on people to listen

On Loneliness.
Boots laced tight
I set out into a winter night’s
Violence seeking
The bone-setter

No one knew the way
So they sent the one
Accustomed to insignificance
Since I would find the path easy
Knowing only back-roads

The Waggoner drove along
The upper road
Of night
At the tail
Of the Great Bear

You know the feeling
Of frost crunching on toes
But pain your only companion
So you walk with it
Like an old friend, bite after bite?

Air burned my breath sooty
Constricting my airway
As narrow as a smokestack
And I thought I would cough up

The squall carried the sound
Of cracking limbs
But there were no trees
On this empty snow-plain
My being the only thing standing

Creeping upon a specter
As would seize a heart
I caught the bone-setter
Snapping bone after bone
Of broken, dislocated travelers

Alexander Perez began writing and publishing poetry in 2022 at age forty-eight. Some of his poems first appeared in journals such as Sixfold, South Florida Poetry Journal, and Blue Unicorn. Alexander is an Albany native and currently lives in Schenectady, New York. He attended the University at Buffalo, University at Albany, and Duke University, and has degrees in English and philosophy. He works in public service for the University at Albany. Read more at