this fear

“She has this fear
that she has no names
that she has many names
that she doesn’t know her names
She has this fear 
that she’s an image
that comes and goes
clearing and darkening
the fear that she’s the dreamwork 
inside someone’s else’s skull
She has this fear
that if she takes off her clothes
shoves her brain aside
peels off her skin
that if she drains
the blood vessels
strips the flesh from the bone
flushes out the marrow
She has this fear
that when she does reach herself
turns around to embrace herself
a lion’s or witch’s or serpent’s head
will turn around 
swallow her and grin
She has this fear that if she digs into herself
she won’t find anyone
that when she gets “there”
she won’t find her notches on the trees
the birds will have eaten all the crumbs
She has this fear
that she won’t find the way back.”

Gloria Anzaldua, La Frontera (1987)

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