Petal Journal

Denice Baker


Out of the corner of my eye, I see her.
She is a creature.
She has clung to my bedroom wall.
People sometimes have a
silent thought of her;
conjuring repulsion,
shudders of disgust,
stifled whimpers of fear
in spite of themselves.

Hunting through the dark,
darting forward maybe backward
0.5 m/s,
the sudden bloom of lamplight
gives her pause.
Body like stemless wheat but somehow
impossibly limbed
scutigera coleoptrata.
She is now still as a criminal,
one that has broken and entered.
She gives me pause, too.

Long after she disappears,
Trying to shake off the feeling that she
May still be close,
I drift away.
Heavy wool tucked around my body
Like armour.

where are we? a lavatory, abandoned in the woods. we cover our heads in hoods fighting rain. we walk inside, unaware of the disrepair, barefoot in our bare feet 2 feet of black water, piss, blood and shredded paper. we climb the sloping concrete floor out of the filth in a desperate search for signals, suddenly trapped in a diseased room. we look to archetypes. we are lead to a colony on damp concrete of hundred-legged skeletons hung together in military formation lines, their antennae and extra limbs fuzzed vines and static impenetrable wires: skin-piercing scutigera bodies fencing us

Waking up alone to a melted room.
It is unfair.
A small creature so bold and powerful,
she asks me mind-numbing questions that I cannot answer
(cannot, will not, stupid with sleep)
she grows, she is no longer in pause,
but I am frozen with dead-stress fear of success
she crawls in exponential growth
15 pairs of sticky feet
pulling down the plaster of
my bedroom walls.

Denice Baker is a poet, photographer and gardener. She attended Western University, majoring in Comparative Literature with a minor in Creative Writing. She currently resides in London, ON.