I knew the miles
before the markers, I found the west
by walking with the sun. I said,
there are lizards in my blood,
there is sandstone in my teeth.
I said, I am the light's daughter,
I am a cactus wren.
This is my home among the thorns.
I said to trees, to starlight,
I said to graves and streets and men,
and you said,
Girlchild, I live too far out in the desert.
I whispered into corners, I wove into
papyrus: I am the light's daughter,
I am a cactus wren,
I raised my hand from lifetimes of loving,
died and dried to crispy bones
so you would find me
still with your name between my teeth, and you said,
The desert has me. It writes my name
But I said,
I know where the desert sleeps.