Hair of the Dog


When I dream of my grandfather

I see myself cutting off bits of his hair

As he lays in an antibiotic room

Surrounded by the beep-beep of him


I take the clippings

And grind them in my molcajete

Mix in pocketed soil dug from

The graves of plum-bruised women

Use the pestle to pulverize

The concoction with spit


—He cries clutching his hollow chest—


I take his tarred pomegranate heart

And pound it in the round of the bowl


As he begs for forgiveness I smile

Take the molcajete to my mouth and

Lick the remedio


My full mouth cannot forgive

Instead I

Take what bit my family

Cure our blood of his rabidness



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