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Pied Beauty Redux
after Gerard Manley Hopkins
When I say God, maybe I mean a being in between. A sky of couple-color. My God-thought a too-tight swimsuit, an extra small rubber band I’ve stretched. Am stretching. If I’m to hold this relic in my soul, I want it Infinity-Big. Room for billions of arms, hearts, backbones, buttocks, livers, legs, torsos, metatarsals, penises, pancreases, breasts, breaths. All the spinal cords & scapulas & hymens & thyroids & sacra. Patella, nerve, node. Clavicle, mandible, pharynx, larynx. Ribcage splayed with lungs at peak load. Fecund & fatherfull. Monstrous & motherous. In a Hindu creation tale, an altar where I kneel: Brahma split one Self— herself and himself— mating themselves to birth all of it: Skewbald stars. Marled dark. Brinded cows. Trout. Chestnut falls. Finches’ wings. Beaches spackled with sequin-sand. Landscape quilted. Gear & tackle & trim. God as adazzle and dim, a dappled thing, fluid like water, like wind. Like this marbled world. God as snail trailing galaxies, home-hauling. God as tree: bloom-bright- breeze-pollinating. They parent-forth in coupled beauty, two hemispheres fused in One Wisdom: Praise them.
Dayna Patterson is a photographer, textile artist, and irreverent bardophile. She’s the author of O Lady, Speak Again and If Mother Braids a Waterfall. She co-edited Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry.