By Dayna Patterson


It’s at least 200 years overdue,

what was needed in this place—

a good earthquake.


It slips from your mouth,

hits, finally, in the clothing store,

one seismic word—




We step outside.

Mountains spin.

The word, sin,


chokes in my throat,

acid bleak,

I swallow back.


We embrace.

Mountains steady. The air clear,

our hearts beat near.



A ten-year secret,

a whole decade to revise,

to re-see with new eyes.


You say you were afraid

to let me down again.

You were right then—


30 years of Sunday lessons learned,

rules for heaven, hell,

made me a person you couldn’t tell.


Around us now

lie whole mountains

made low.



I offer a nude

I don’t know.


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