A priestess of petals

was how she felt once a

week, tending to the vases,

their flowers and their leaves,

deadheading those too far gone,

decapitating still

those with colour enough for

a plated table display.

An artist of ritual

she felt herself each time

the stems she caressed, whether

thorned or no (indeed, the prick

of a rose, the blood which flowed

to skin’s surface after,

she imagined an offering,

sacrificial drop of self

in exchange for beauty

thus admired, rotated,

and changed for the next vibrant,

painted, and perfumed bouquet).

Seduced thus by Nature,

she felt tempted every

week, victim of aesthetics,

desire for hues only

true sunlight might reveal

at all sufficiently.

A priestess of petals

she felt and self-proclaimed,

but pure satisfaction of

her needs was this ritual’s

true and irreligious aim.