what was lost to get me here

woman of my worth, 3


grandma and I sat across from each other, she in the lounge chair feet up, eyes closed. when I walked in she opened them and let out a half crooked smile from the left corner. there were clumps of hair all over the carpet. I took the spot beneath her feet because I praised her.

I had my worth told to me by my grandma since always.

grandma runs oil through my scalp (3) 

grandma teaches me how to love with my hands (6)  

I show grandma a picture of my real mama. she was young, sitting in a living room, with a baby (who was not me) perched on her right thigh. we count how many oceans were between us, all the blood and non-blood (8)

on the map on the wall grandma helps me circle all the places I could be from. (10) 

when a  baby is brought to my house grandma and I run oil through her scalp. (14)

grandma tells me “you are a la loba, there is not a thing you cannot survive”. (16)

I sit before her on the floor awaiting death. (18)

at this time she hadn’t left me yet, and we’d sit like this for hours, my hands pressed on the floorboards. I can still hear her laughing. that was the last time I saw her until they carried her out of the house on a wooden board and I had to learn my worth from inside my own body.