Because I Never Learned to Read the Tarot
after Rod Jellema’s “Because I Never Learned the Names of Flowers”
It is candlelight and velvet where
I smudge away the bitter-mocha mad mojo funk
and motion for you to belly-up to my tableau.
I flex the deck into an artful bridge and begin
to delvesee into your destiny
the whole esoteric assemblage of Truth.
Seeker, I scry for you
Cacophony and The Sycophant, crisscross The King of Irony. The Waiting Uber.
Below, Astonishment; above, the Queen
of Tablecloths covers you. As others see you, Ambivalence. Happenstance, your hopes and fears.
The Apogee. The Trump.
I prophecy Five Fisticuffs, I divine Nine disastrous Tweets,
the Bearer of Mufflers, Bravado, The Coffee Shop,
and the Ace of Bases,
oracling: The Scissors, The Knight of Whenevers,
your best course of action. Sustenance, the Dilettante. The Wheel of Dissonance.
— Shannon Connor Winward
Shannon Connor Winward is the author of the Elgin-award winning chapbook, Undoing Winter. Her writing has earned recognition in the Writers of the Future Contest and has appeared in (or is forthcoming from) Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, The Pedestal Magazine, Eternal Haunted Summer, Literary Mama, Star*Line, and The Monarch Review, among others. In between writing, parenting, and other madness, Shannon is also an officer for the Science Fiction Poetry Association, a poetry editor for Devilfish Review and founding editor of Riddled with Arrows Literary Journal.
Thumbnails of major arcana from Tarot de Marseille by Nicolas Conver (ca. 1760). Recolored version.
for discussion on cognitive dissonance.
Tags: Shannon Connor Winward