August 2007

Shelley Renee-Ruiz


Shelley Renee-Ruiz resides near Austin, Texas. Her poetry has appeared most recently in Crab Orchard Review and So to Speak. She is a recent graduate of the Antioch University-Los Angeles creative writing M.F.A. program and is current editor of the online literary journal Banyan Review.

Wainwright House    

I liked that thoomp-thoomp rush into the tube
as I dragged the Hoover through the sleeping quarters,    
sucked up socks and spare change, created order
out of open letters, insomnia-rumpled beds. I slipped chewed          
pencils into desks and folded sweaters over photos—nude  
girls concealed gently in the deepest corners          
of bureau drawers. In the kitchen, the Danish cook bartered
and cajoled in broken English while ox tails stewed  
and I lined spices up by size. I let him speak uninterrupted,
ignored his furtive shots of rum, medications
for a scar he showed me—smooth skin on his back in a swath.
Outside the window a brief cry of voices erupted.
Primal scream, he told me, but I never saw the patients,
only heard the silence heavy with his breath.



Shelley Renee-Ruiz: Poetry
Copyright ©2007 The Cortland Review Issue 36The Cortland Review