A woman runs on the first day of spring

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In honor of National Poetry Month, espnW is running a weekly poem on influential female athletes and women in sports.

--Chicago, IL

When I am a stranger to my own

ruin, twilight reminds me

to give alms to my best sins.

March: the city is purging

in the humility of worms, salt

washing from the grasses.

When I breathe in, I say thank you.

When I breathe out, I say gone,

I say garden, I say guns.

Three crows devour the dead

rat. Look at all that booty,

the man mutters and blows

me kisses. The sky is worthless

and my bulbous ass is always

a dinner bell. I run farther,

I run with a feather inside

my ear, I run from a bird

with a broken neck and follow

the sound of thawing snow.

Aren't we all boundless

though? The way a dream

secretes the morning after,

the way moths feed on the eyes

of fawn. Two and not two--

vines that strangle trees never

say they're sorry. I reach

the lake with this grateful

ache in my throat. If I say

my body is its own crumbling

country, if I say I am always

my own home--then

what does that make me?

Erika L. Sánchez is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. She is the author of Lessons on Expulsion (Graywolf 2017) and Brown Girl Problems (Knopf 2017). Her nonfiction has appeared in Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. She has received a CantoMundo Fellowship, a "Discovery"/Boston Review Poetry Prize, and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.