Gingerbread House Lit Mag

Self-Portrait as Titania with Newborn Animus

Little one, you fringe my dreams
with lanugo, one minute: fetus; the next:

vernix of red flame. It doesn’t scorch
my arms to cradle your fire and ice.

When all my faith has fled—instead of rope,
a linkage of snakes—I want to be filled

with your almost-ness, your on-the-cusp
-ness, potential gestating in this weak

house of skin. Your glaciers pout the book
the book the book. But I’m a womb

of worry. What are we but the leavings
of our mothers? How do we harvest

our fathers’ fallow? After hours of labor,
after sufficient pain to render us gasping

and slick, will a swaddle release the sterile
dust, seed fields richly, enflower?

Milkmouth, warm flesh of poems I need
to write, I apologize in advance for the wounds.

All my words call for bandages.

Dayna Patterson

Dayna Patterson is the author of Titania in Yellow (Porkbelly Press, 2019) and If Mother Braids a Waterfall (Signature Books, 2020). Her creative work has appeared recently in POETRYAGNI, and Passages North, among others. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre and a co-editor of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon

Artwork: Laura Makabresku

This entry was published on July 31, 2019 at 12:10 am and is filed under 37 (July 2019), Poetry. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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