Emily Pérez

You Mattered to Me

like a bulwark / like the tie that binds // You mattered to me like the lion and the lamb // Like metaphors and meter // Like the doorway in a dream / like the key to that door / tiny like the needle’s eye / like a rich camel passing through // Like winter in spring / like lilies with their gold unerring stain // Like territory claimed // Like wandering / like walking over desert coals // Like leaps // Like the language I first understood to mean you were meaningful / fully mounted on the mountains / overlooking all the plains // You planed the planks / you pried the parables / loosed unwilling tongues / only as damning as the damned deserved // You danced on the heads of pins I used for holding up my hems // You hymned / you hummed // You saved the blood to wet the scraps // I knew I’d never fool a real god // With you I had a chance

Emily Pérez is the author of House of Sugar, House of Stone, Made and Unmade, and Backyard Migration Route. A CantoMundo fellow and Ledbury Emerging Critic, her recent poems have appeared in Cosmonauts Avenue, SWWIM, and Copper Nickel, and she is a regular reviewer for RHINO. Find more at www.emilyperez.org.