María Warrior of Self

when I wake up
soft and more
of dream
than waking life
I wish
to lick myself
the way a cat
cleanses —
my tongue
over the miracle
of my hands
over the soft plane
that is my belly
down the length
of my legs
my tongue lapping
tender over
my calloused feet
— especially over
my calloused feet
licking with devotion
the arable land
of my back
the forgotten sweat
behind my knees
seeing what is there to see
the edges at the mouth
the cave that brought
my children forth into life
my tongue over my territory
the way a cat knows
the limits of her fur

From Killing Marias (Two Sylvias Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Claudia Castro Luna. Used with permission of the author.