Valorie Ruiz

The Montage Resort

The moon is full. The bodies on the sand are more visible in the glow, but the night allows me to hide in the shadows of the palms. I see her below: underneath him, running her fingers through his curls, brushing a thumb along his shadowed jaw. Her other hand pushes away his finger tugging at a belt buckle. I see her jokingly tap his nose, mouth the word no, and keep kissing him.

I scream, “STOP HERE!” My voice is a whistle in the wind. I see his hands roam under her shirt, feeling the arch of her spine but it slides down again: lower this time still. She pushes his arm, saying how hard this is for her. When she says the word “no” her shoulders slump: fallen tears leaving her face. I yell to her, “The distractions won’t work!” What she wants isn’t found in his apology; there shouldn’t be a need for one.

They pack their blanket and leave. I know she’ll be back. I know the outcome. This is where it should end. She feels pulled in by the call of the sea but he doesn’t deserve her Sirena spirit. My words resonate in the crash of the waves unheard by the girl who needs them most. If I could touch her, would it take away from who I am?

Chasing Heat

She is a dollop of sunflower yellow in an overgrown field of dying grasses.
Desert sand colored skin and desolate cave eyes. Autumn is her name.
Autumn sleeps in a house nestled between metal palm trees and rivers of foam.
Her blood is electric and her feet conductors.She dances to the beat of thunder on rocks to craft sparks of lightning.
Autumn peels petals away. Fabric tossed aside in rain.
Afar, a strike hits land. Entire patches catch fire. Autumn twirls in smoke.
The river does not call to her. The flames excite her, “More light!”
The fire becomes her Sun. Gravity pulls her in.
Perspiration mixes with melting baby hairs. “More warmth!”
Her skin blisters, boils—her petals burn.
The smoke drowns out her song to the Sun.

Valorie Ruiz is a Xicana poet fascinated by language. She is host of “Palabras,” a monthly performance series and open mic event held on the last Sunday of each month in San Diego. She is a mother, an artist, and a self-proclaimed bibliophile studying poetry in San Diego State University’s MFA program, where she also assists with Poetic Youth.

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