The barnyard of it.


The restless pig at teat of it.

The blind and grubbing

mammal, rooting, smacking,

screaming when it won’t flow fast

enough, the factory, the food groups

I’ve become. The small and swaddled

squirminess, the hunger pangs widening

to press out piss, the belly punch of gas,

the skin shellacked with milk, the eye lids flaked

by mucus rocks that will not drain through still-plugged

ducts of it. The pressed-against-me-constantly, the shifting

wrestling weight of it. The rock pushed up a hill of it.

The gravity, the equal, ever more opposing force of it. The ox cart’s load

the furrowing plough the seed scatter and prayer for rain of it.

The pecking orbit of a scavenger, extracting ore, oblivious to the scarecrow’s stare,

the troubled trough, the tantrumed vessel I pour all my perfect in.


Emily Pérez is the author of the chapbook Backyard Migration Route (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have appeared in journals including Crab Orchard Review, Borderlands, The Laurel Review, DIAGRAM, /nor, and Nimrod. She teaches high school English and Gender Studies in Seattle where she lives with her husband and sons.