BY VALORIE K. RUIZ
Tracing the Path of the Moon
An owl’s wingspan can stretch up to five feet.
When I see the streak of tierra
over the park across the street
at just past midnight
I don’t question it.
But as the minutes
slide into grains of sand
and the cigarette caves to ash
I begin to wonder.
Maybe I’m reading too much
in the shadows between the trees
maybe age is stealing sight from my eyes
maybe it’s all tricks played by amber lights.
The cigarette tames me, keeping me outdoors long
enough for the shadow to return.
A five-foot-wide paint stroke along the sky
traces circles over my head.
When I hear the final hoot as the owl
dances beneath a hidden moon
There’s no need to question.
This message clear as the constellations I craft stories for.
All of these obsidian glimpsed futures are waiting
for nothing more than the illusion of time to bring them full circle.
Your eyelids flicker and I watch you lift, drift
on a sea carved by the corners of your mind.
The hum of your breath buzzes into a lantern,
a lit firefly flashing it’s gleam
against your parted smile. These new moon nights
I’m tempted to trap the floating radiance
in a jar carved from lightning by pixie hands. I think,
perhaps I could drape it around my neck, wear your fire
as a beam to navigate my way across thunderclap waves:
a storm raging nowhere but the waters
of my own mind. Instead I’m locked in the charm of its hover.
I’d much rather trace the spirals of your floating Sun.
Watch the firefly that needs no external light.
Remedy for Codepency
/the first time i orgasmed/ with you my stained glass eyes shattered/ beneath your sol-bright gaze/ breaking me into a puddle/ of mosaic geometrics unable to be puzzle-pieced/ back into the mural i resiliently crafted/ i spilled honey/ luring the residents of the anthill beyond the swell of your home/ begging the Mother Queen with her millions of eggs/ to gift me her unborn/ swallowing their potential/ anendorfic treatment to remove this lovesickness/ this oxytocin bond/ sometimes too much/
The dragonfly enters my room
Glass wings prism moonlight
Across my eyes and I’m shifting between
Recognition and the unknown of his flutter
The dragonfly whispers orders to remain still
He is the snake doctor who’ll stitch together
My endings to each new beginning
I am a rag muñeca waiting to be quilted together
The dragonfly is holed away in my mind
Lodged in the corners where he breathes
Fires to keep himself warm
Where he lives still—
Flapping memories into blank pages
Valorie K. Ruiz is a Xicana writer fascinated by language and the magic it evokes. She currently
lives in San Diego, and she is assistant flash fiction editor for Homology Lit.