Please, Whiteness

I supplicant, compliant
I reliable client. I rely
on rigged possibility. I
plausible deniability.
I culpability. I crane
I cavort. I crapshoot
with the court. I shoot
breezes, breach secrets.
I shifty. I shamble. I
gamble and gambol.
Molly and coddle. I
crawl and I twaddle.
I meek. I model.


Emily Pérez’s poetry books include What Flies Want, winner of the 2021 Iowa Prize; House of Sugar, House of Stone; and two chapbooks. She co-edited the forthcoming The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood. A CantoMundo fellow and Ledbury Emerging Critic, her poetry and reviews have appeared in Okay Donkey, Copper Nickel, Poetry, The Guardian, and LARB. She lives in Denver with her family. Find more at