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War Paint

February 7, 2018 | Reproductive Justice, Roe v. Wade

Clubs blast scratched punk.

We shrug on torn fishnets. After all,

A tear is fashion and sometimes

holes say more about who we are

than all the fabric that remains.

My hermanas don hoops and flannel,

paint labios red to prepare

for polaroids and sweaty brick

wall fucking, or maybe because

we know any snapshot could be

on a poster across town, or

a mugshot in a file, or a form of

evidence post-mortem.

 

 


Poet’s Statement

Sometimes voice is the only power we have full control over. Because we have full control of this power, we must use our voices carefully and boldly. We must understand that our voice allows us to fully express who we are and where we stand in our beliefs. The passing of Roe v Wade gave us back the ability to control more than our voice. It showed that we had some level of control over our bodies as well. With this result, I felt that many people began realizing their voice had the power to change the world on a personal and universal level. Going forward, I strongly believe people will continue understanding the power of their words and changing history with this linguistic magic.

Editor’s Statement

“War Paint” by Valorie Ruiz couples beauty ritual with the pseudo-survivalist anxiety that comes with hitting the club scene at night. It is a wonderful insight into a mechanism of misogyny—having to anticipate gender-based violence—, and the covenant of grooming oneself and their loved ones for a night of socializing and fun.

Bio and Links

Photo of Poet Valorie Ruiz

Valorie K. Ruiz is a Xicana writer fascinated by language and the magic it evokes. She is an MFA Candidate at San Diego State University where she works with Poetry International. Outside of her poetic work, she enjoys exploring digital literature and can be found working on her Twine game (Brujerías) or making galaxy gato themed websites in her spare time.

Twitter: @Valorie_Ruiz

Instagram: ValorieRuiz

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