Daniel Eduardo Ruiz

With a Snap of My Fingers

I was scared of minivan-lifting moms
until I imagined how much monsters
can bench press, but that’s an irrational fear—
much like the fear that your ears write their own
diaries detailing the secrets you can only
pretend you didn’t hear. It’s best to assume,
when you don’t know why the table next to you
is laughing, that your hairs are all standing
like an ugly brown lawn you didn’t mind
cutting across to a front door, that they know
your itchy crew socks have been planning
to bite you since they saw the light when
you pulled open the drawer. It all makes
sense now. I know why that bag of chips
was mostly salty air. I finally get where
babies come from. Last week, I found
a tracking device in my bookmark,
and when I stepped on it the power
went out and the hanging pots in my kitchen
all began to do The Bump. I found a hair
in my sandwich! (I think they want to birth
a clone from my body.) On the radio
I heard that windows are the sky’s cameras,
but I haven’t seen any UFOs lately—
and I should have nothing
to fear, really, except that my shirts
are tighter lately, like the law, and all that jazz
about fighting your instincts? But they only
want me to be happy! Like how ketchup must
think a hamburger is lonely. Like how ice
wants so much to be water, how smoke wants
so much to be the breath of a Floridian
in the snow for the first time. How I, clapping,
can turn on the lights in gated communities,
or how I, rubbing my stomach, can feel the head
of my clone charging, publicizing
my eyelids—how I, now blind, can peer into
another’s eyes and see me staring.

Daniel Eduardo Ruiz was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, but now lives in Tallahassee. A recent recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, his poems can or will be found in minnesota review, New Delta Review, and elsewhere.