Your favorite poem loves you so much

Dayna Patterson

                  after Susan Murron


when your heart stops it knows
right where to hit your ribs
to rhythm it back,
cracking your bones a little.

Your favorite poem loves you. So much

when you’ve been under
water far too long
it gasps you back
to the burn of breath and sky.

Your favorite poem loves you so.

When you’ve eaten too much poison
in small (unnoticed) doses,
it thickens your blood,
antidote you didn’t know you needed.

Your favorite poem loves you.
So when you’re riding the bus
or waiting in the drive thru line,
it fondles your inner ear,
it strokes you between the legs,

your favorite. Poem loves you.

Etch it so muchly into skull, bone
tattoo, your blood the ink that scarlet-
stains its script. Choir it
in your throat’s ruby chancel.


Dayna Patterson is a former managing editor of Bellingham Review, the founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre, and the poetry editor for Exponent II Magazine. She is a co-editor (with Tyler Chadwick and Martin Pulido) of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry (Peculiar Pages, 2018). Her poetry has appeared recently in Hotel Amerika, So to Speak, Western Humanities Review, and Zone 3.

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