for these unmothered. Sweep the dead
across the threshold of Dis
into the wings of those who wait,
their talons muddy from the trenches they dug
and filled with wine and flesh to summon
phantom hunger. Suture
Cordelia, Ophelia, Miranda
to their unnamed matrons. Stitch
the rift between Juliet
and Lady C, Perdita
and Hermione. Bring
the mothers of Jessica, Portia, Viola
up from the gut of the earth
into a forest
craquelure with moonlight.
There, in a grotto’s mouth,
above a nest of hatchling snakes, set
my mother and me and my daughters. Plant
our feet on an ormolu mount. Interlace
our porcelain. Let incense climb
our limbs and sash
our waists and curl
through our hair in smoky tendrils, unfurling to the stars.
Dayna Patterson is a consulting editor for Bellingham Review, poetry editor for Exponent II Magazine, and founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre. She is a co-editor (with Tyler Chadwick and Martin Pulido) of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry (Peculiar Pages Press 2018). Her poetry has appeared recently in Hotel Amerika, Sugar House Review, Western Humanities Review, and Zone 3, among others. You can discover more at www.daynapatterson.com.