| words that get in your teeth

fire season three – Victoria Ruiz

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fire season three

what a man makes of his mother 
clutching the dog in a misty doorway morning, porch light on

his father already gone to work

the bus stop chatter of pink umbrellas and a kid with a stick
multi-verses keeping beat on an everyday city block
my world is here

and then it’s not

it drives away in a gently used subaru
while we go on pretending these last supper 
good-byes are about the food

gone the boxed lunch days
no note to leave
so i bury a slate of tourmaline 
for protection 

i remember everything

milk braids in the fold of his neck nursing
every little stitch of cross-hatched skin
on awkward knees and band-aids

the aisle of axe spray when he and his twin were twelve
warm cookies pulled from the oven burning fallen off morsels 
of pizza cheese

if memory had a scent, it would be the rush
of yesterdays as his
tires pull away

Bio – Victoria Ruiz {she/her} is a Minneapolis based writer whose work has appeared in What Rough Beast/Indolent Books, NYWC online journal, Gnashing Teeth, Olney Magazine, Anti-Heroin Chic and forthcoming Camperdown NYC collective book of poetry. She is a lover of all things music and enjoys dancing in the kitchen with speakers on full-tilt while her dog, Mojo, watches in disdain.

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