In the cathedral of bare branches

by Jessica Coles

too much happens imperfectly
rain clouds serve uncountable deities

with acolytes in brown robes who don’t 
know how to drink what they spill

I can’t find a hymn that sings
perfection as a multiplicity of peonies

months out of green, grass serves 
brown’s purpose while I untangle

from ugliness, dig toes into dust’s wisdom
invent plainsong prayers for rain

wait for an old goddess to tell me 
what makes water spillable

what imperfect droplet transforms
the song in earth’s throat


Jessica Coles (she/her) is a poet and editor-on-hiatus, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Treaty 6 territory), where she lives with her family and her judgmental tuxedo cat. Her first chapbook, unless you’re willing to evaporate (Prairie Vixen Press), was published in late 2019. Her poetry has also appeared in Prairie Fire Magazine and Write (The Writers’ Union of Canada).