niki perez

Dear Phoenix


Blame is tough aesthetics.
When our child drowned
Miles swore wholeheartedly,
he’d find that lost rosary bead.
He searched all the places
we’d been: chapel, ward, car, home.
Emerging empty—
we prayed to machines instead.


Dad and Mom toast
every morning to funny.
He takes sugar and cream,
she vodka, like soldiers carry
souls at war. I prefer trusted
things: erasures, diagrams, soil.
Hearts should require a passport.


Canada is fair geography.
I can see the baby doodle
a Golden Eagle land
with the plane. We muse
monuments to her, our fire bird,
that she lands somewhere
between flight and—
do organs come gifted with a bow?


Niki Perez (she/her/hers) is a mom, a commercial real estate guru, and a word slayer. She makes no apologies for being an alpha female, though her sword fighting skills need practice. Once, Niki was an owl of literature and creative writing at FAU. You might find her pen in Coastlines Literary Magazine, From One Line Vol. 2, and A Thin Slice of Anxiety, among others.