I can see myself up there
High on a mountaintop
(“A banner is unfurled”
the familiar sing-song lyrics autoplay in my head
and I squelch them swiftly).
From such a vantage
I could view the entire valley
and see all the corners and shadows
that have given me life.
In them, I would find my heritage,
equal parts handcart and homophobia.
The streets are quiet up here
Full of newly-weds and nearly-deads they say
because history is changing and people with it.
Those who built these sidewalks
are no longer the ones treading upon them.
The street signs bear Mormon names.
Zarahemla: fictional capital city,
Cumorah: hill full of secrets,
and Abinadi, a man I once admired
because he allowed himself to be burned to death.
My back is to the city now
and all is rustling leaves
and one lone cricket
and sunshine on my skin
and I think of how I was carried here
by pioneer women
and how I almost
let myself burn.