Your name scrawled on a bit of paper moves me.
And I should beware.
Take my dreaming self beyond the reach
of your cheery letters,
written laboriously with
stubby pencils and grubby
: What the finger writes the soul can read :
All life was spirit once
a disembodied groping across
toward the unknown otherness
the flesh is weak and slow
with luck I shall not live there
From "Her Blue Body Everything We Know" (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: $24.95). Born in Eatonton, Ga., and now living in Northern California, Walker is the author of many books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, including the novel, "The Color Purple." 1991 by Alice Walker. Reprinted with permission.