God the Mother Speaks of Coprophagia
with a line from Maxine Kumin
A star implodes and feeds a nursery of new lights. My design.
A latrine fly, hungry, presses spongy mouthparts to brown liquid,
also mine. There’s no such thing as waste. Only recycling. Fecal
meal a redigestion. Pikas haul soft green pellets to the den.
Sparrows pick seeds from a steaming cowpat. And you, adventurous
kin, drink urine in space. Let anyone with ears to hear listen.
You are like toddlers I lay down for a nap, and when I return,
the crib, your lips—they’re smeared with shit. Finger-painted filth. My dirty
darlings, a naked digestive tract needs bacteria. Call it
divine (microbial) intervention. My plan. Young elephants,
hippos, pandas, & koalas will eat their mother’s droppings. Eat
my words. Then take them up and eat them again, that what was at first
lost, may be absorbed at last. The nutrient of my good news, hard-
shell gospel. With each slow rumination, each passage of rich stool,
you begin to break down the ejecta of life, what will grow you.
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 AGNI, The Maynard, and Tahoma Literary Review. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre and a co-editor of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry. She was a co-winner of the 2019 #DignityNotDetention Poetry Prize judged by Ilya Kaminsky. daynapatterson.com