My mother collected the pieces
one by one
in the desert, the sand and skulls
cutting at her feet.
The Bone Mother, they call her,
La Que Sabe
the Wild Woman.
Piece by piece she collected
the bones of the wolf,
her ratty cloak sweeping the dunes
behind her, her weathered fingers
clutching those indestructible pieces,
never resting until each one was accounted for.
Patience, she’d whisper to me at night
My love, you’re going to need patience
as I lost count of the scars
as I lost another piece slipping
out the window toward the moon.
Once she found the very last bone, the paw,
she’d take them to a fire, lay them
in place, raise her arms, and sing.
She’d sing more.
A fleshing out, fur.
Arms raised again, a final praise
to something I had yet to understand,
and the wolf shot up and out toward
The wolf transformed into
a woman with long hair
of black and yellow and red and silver,
laughing she ran away.
Heavy in my head and empty-chested
La Loba–her voice the pitch of humming bees–
whispered all along as I emptied myself
for years into nights, starved and prowling
a barren forest for some kind of longing,
some kind of yearning deep in my body;
The One Who Knows told me
that I, too, would flesh out into
the real creature I am–into My Truth;
that I, too, am gathering,
gathering those indestructible pieces,
clutching the parts of myself to my chest
barefoot beside her under that sky.
The wolf beats beneath my chest
I feel its speed and ease
its ownership of one’s Self.
I hear a song.
I am standing at the horizon, my hair
in every color catching in my open mouth
as I laugh,
remembering my nature
remembering I had whispered to myself
all along in the pitch of a bee’s hum
that I needed to give myself time,
patience, and the love to gather.
We are our own mothers.
We are La Loba.