LETTER TO BOOK OR I'VE BEEN A WOMAN BY SONIA SANCHEZ
someone loved you.
someone called you flower not dead tree processed
someone cradled you in their mouth
like an infant, swaddled your corners with careful fingers.
before I opened your ribcage and unfolded your right lung
when you were pristine with fresh ink and the stale stench of glue
before I ran my fingers over your spine
what an assortment of vertebrae this is
before I payed half-price for the used
paperback with an orange cover and red printed woman
someone loved you
she picked a pen with the blackest ink and wrote on your hand
"To sister alicia - walk beautifully." December 4th, 1993
she circled your prayers, marked the praises
until every page was white black and highlighter yellow stained glass
when god first raked his fingers through the dirt
and planted rows of trees and women he knew the way
words are vines that pull you by the ankle
to where you need to grow,
and on that seventh day while he slept in the stars
there she was legs crossed in the soil carving into Sonia's tree:
"To sister alicia, to sister alicia, to sister alicia."