Emily Pérez

Nose tip,

you’re barely a fused rib,
just an elbow-bend,

beginning. Dark seeds
dream into two eyes,

you are sealed in,
new-limning. Kindred

kidney-hulls conjoining,
lungs on the verge

of dawning. A heart’s
first gravity-testing.

Mass of moss-bone
hardening, you unfurl

in fiddlehead digits,
you string coral

to line a spine-strand,
your moon-skull

floats tall on the tides
it calls. Ink whorls

on each thin heel-skin.
You weave strands

of tender tendons, vein
nets across your ocean.

Small world, new formed
bright surface, fresh carved

by our fingerprints
yet unmarred.

Little Song

Licorice, sweetgum, darkly hooded plum
flesh and pith kiss quick-fish tongue.
Pearl in strung sky, purrs a purple plosive
sigh, hiccups skip him nimbly off my sides.
Rib walker from mung bean sprung,
swelling seasons under sun, from tadpolite
to parasite to night light giving hum.
Impala wink on fox feet, rattle box and rain,
rigmarole, gravity pull, quintessential little
universe, this shotgun riding hitchhiker
on swiftly shifting tilting lifting track
for blooming trains. Oh leggy lamb of lamp-
glow, soon you’ll swallow turquoise whole,
soon you’ll drink my eyes my voice,
soon you’ll wind your spring-run clock.
Tonight I herd your shadows in my flock.

Author Portrait

Emily Pérez is the author of the chapbook Backyard Migration Route (Finishing Line Press). Raised in south Texas, she earned a B.A. from Stanford and an MFA at the University of Houston, where she served as a poetry editor for Gulf Coast and taught with Writers in the Schools. An alumna of Bread Loaf, the Summer Literary Seminars, and the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, her poems have appeared in journals including Crab Orchard Review, Borderlands, The Laurel Review, DIAGRAM, /nor, and Nimrod. She teaches English in Denver where she lives with her husband and sons.

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