Sunset Salsa

Bodies burning like fire,

Red skirts and red flames.

Everyone moving.

Spinning round some

Invisible axis.

Smashing and crashing,

Imploding like atoms.

Body to body,

Hip to hip, breathless,

Slick sweat running down

Bare backs. Strangers

Moving like lovers,

Each of them pretending

To love the other back.


I was never any good at math.

Doing sums was like

Reading hieroglyphics;

The longer I stared 

At the page, the more

Peculiar they appeared,

Like a chain of code designed

To keep spies like me at bay—

A turncoat who couldn’t 

Tell you the difference between

Square roots and fractions

And only knew enough

To count change and settle debt.

Of course, my father 

Never knew. He was too

Busy seeing himself in me

And I was too scared

To admit that I never

Saw myself in him,

Both of us unwilling

To let the other down.

Doing our best work

When he’d help me out with

Homework and I’d pretend

That I didn’t need his help.

Ryan Diaz is a poet and writer from Queens, NY. He holds a BA in History from St. Johns University and is currently completing a MA in Biblical Studies. His first poetry collection, For Those Wandering Along the Way, was released in 2021. Ryan’s writing attempts to find the divine in the ordinary, the thin place where fantasy and reality meet. He currently lives in Queens, NY with his wife Janiece. Keep up with Ryan’s work at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s