Coming Out to the Koi Fish

today i told the koi fish my name.
they swam in yin and yang formation
happily blowing bubbles up to applaud me,
and they shook their fiery-cow scales
to make them sparkle under
the moon’s distorted light.
they said my name back to me
and wrote it on their black
and tulip-orange bodies.

the moon—like an enchanted
elephant tusk,
rocked back and forward
as though an earthquake had shaken
it from its nail on a black wall

and the little termites
had the flutes hollowed out
and hanging on the wall
with red ribbons tied
to them
ready for all the
mariachi bands to play them
and let the sound waves
tell me it’s okay
to be me.

Ruby Rodriguez is a bilingual transgender Latina writer from San Antonio, Texas. Her work has been previously published in La Prensa Texas, at The America Library of Poetry, at the McNay Art Museum, and she is the winner of the Best Poem in Spanish in the second Aline B. Carter Poetry Contest (all under the name of Ricardo, however). She is the poetry and Spanish editor of the digital literary magazine, The Bunker Review.

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