As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Jessica Helen Lopez – Poetry

Thought Woman

(for the women of the Metro Detention Center – a prayer poem)

Thought woman created tortillas and flesh
like masa – and perhaps she thought of violence
too.  But, I will never know.

She thought of the sex of me, all apple and dew.
Stitched a burlap body, brown of course
and blew sand into it.  This to be the me of me.

My insides tierra and just a drop of moisture.

She took four long ropes of her hair.  Onyx like
Moctezuma’s eyes and threaded the burlap girl/boy body.

She named me desert.  She named me una Esperanza
de las Estrellas.  She named me Xilonen.

Thought Woman sang me into this world –
to let me cry, to bleed, give babies to this land,
invoke dream stories, to inscribe the world with
my something.

My something is bone song.
is holler woman.
is thinfinger
and toes the hue of a waterless dirt.

When the sun woke I was young –
closer to the earth and hair to my waist.

By the midwinter of day –
I had peeled a baby from my womb, shorn
my scalp and grew rivers on my belly.

When the inevitable ink of night comes,
I will unbind my stitches, let
the sand run back home

Give back
this hair to
Thought Woman
so she may daughter
someone new

Contributor’s Notes:

Jessica Helen Lopez head shotJessica Helen Lopez is a nationally recognized award-winning poetry slam champion, and holds the title of 2012 Women of the World (WOW) City of ABQ Champion. She’s also a member of the Macondo Foundation. Founded by Sandra Cisneros, it is an association of socially engaged writers united to advance creativity, foster generosity, and honor community. Her first collection of poetry, Always Messing With Them Boys (West End Press, 2011) made the Southwest Book of the Year reading list and was also awarded the Zia Book Award presented by NM Women Press. She is the founder of La Palabra – The Word is a Woman collective created for and by female writers and artisans. Please visit the website http://lapalabra.abqnorthwest/.  Lopez is also a 2012 Ted Talk speaker and her talk, “Spoken Word Poetry that Tells HERstory” can be found at

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