Abigail Tow - Keller

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."