Petal Journal

Jade Wallace


I knelt under a clear midnight sky and said
prayers to every celestial light.
I spilled the blood of plants over a fire
and looked for symbols in the smoke.
I turned my body into a lonely temple that needed
no alms to go on standing.
I moved like a shadow in secret rooms
trying to divine wisdom from ancient books.
I held the hand of more than one vigilant soul whispering
with voices only they could hear.
I walked a road glimmering into mirage with a thousand other sojourners,
looking for a place more sacred
than the one we had left.

I spent countless devotional hours in love with the intricacies of human ritual.

I never heard an otherworldly voice.
I never felt the cosmic ocean rise within me.
I thought of great spirits wanting endless attention and my resentment turned amyctic.
I saw beasts staggering and suffering toward death
and cursed whoever lacked the mercy to ease them.
I stood in hallowed places and felt myself among urticants,
feet chafed by holy grit.

In a century of repetitions,
I learned a little of myself, and the sprawling earth.
But mostly I came to grasp
that I do not get along well with gods.

Jade Wallace is a legal clinic worker in Toronto, Ontario whose short stories and poetry have appeared in The Dalhousie Review, The Nashwaak Review, Draft, Feathertale, Poetry Sz, Breakfast in a Day, Pac’n Heat: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man, and six chapbooks from Grey Borders Books.