Rachelle Cruz is from Hayward, California. Her work has appeared in Muzzle Magazine, Splinter Generation, KCET's Departures Series, Inlandia: A Literary Journey, among others. She hosts “The Blood-Jet Writing Hour” Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio. An Emerging Voices Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow and a VONA writer, she lives and writes in Riverside, California.
Self-Portrait as Blood
If there is a river more ecstatic than this
simmering between fingers,
black-red as night parting through the reeds,
then let me gnaw my mother's finger
into the bell of her silence.
If there is a river more powerful than this,
pray that it flows through the magic of return.
Silt loosened by the heart's surge
and carried into the chambers of my wilderness.
If there is a river more present than this,
teach me how to unfurl dawn with my hands,
to stroke honey-mouthed generations
with this wild, wild water.