SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

Two Daughters

When there are two
daughters, one is soft
one is swift
            one can stretch
her face to contain
honey or humor
saline, a bone graft
disdain.
One cannot bend
but knows her place
the curtains
the floorboard’s tongue-
in-groove, the hearthstone.

When there are two
            daughters there are two
moons, both sickle-celled
            and fawn-eyed.
One that sings
one that scolds.
Both hold their breath
            under bridges.

Sometimes there are two
rivers cutting landscape
flooding farms
            sometimes fire strides forth
on two fronts
            sometimes two stars
orbit each other, but these
            reflect each other’s light
and these are not
            two daughters.


Emily Pérez is the author of the full-length collection, House of Sugar, House of Stone, and the chapbooks Made and Unmade and Backyard Migration Route. A CantoMundo fellow, her recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Copper Nickel, Fairy Tale Review, and Poetry. She teaches English and Gender Studies in Denver, where she lives with her husband and sons.

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