High Priestess

Victoria Nordlund


I admit, I totally wanted the Magician
somewhere in this relationship spread
even though he’s just a try-hard card who
waves his wand and
craves an audience
to applaud his slick sleights of hand,
to kiss his sword of intellect.
Thinks he’s hot stuff with his leminiscate
setting the universe on fire.
But he never appears for me.

I get you.
You are my outcome position.
I tell myself you are a
pretty cool, self-sufficient witch
who would prefer to keep her magic
on the down-low.

You don’t really need anyone, do you?

Veiled one in blue robe
with Hathor’s headdress,
with resting bitch face,
and no apologies,
with hands rooted to arcane scrolls
that hold all the answers.
You withdraw willingly
with the moon and the waters
of the sky at your feet.
You yield,
and the world just comes to you
asking for its future.
You sit in front
of this pomegranate tapestry
that decorates the blank wall
I always thought was a path.

Perched between darkness and light
by the pillars of Solomon’s temple:
Boaz and Jachin
Black and White
Negation and Beginning.
You are not a gate
or a portal
or a bridge
to pass through,
or to walk across.
You are the middle pillar,
the tree,
the stillness.

I fold you into the others and
reshuffle my deck.
I am the Fool
grasping that little white rose,
asking the same question,
seeking my course of action,
about to step off a cliff.



Victoria Nordlund received her MALS from Wesleyan University. She teaches creative writing at Rockville High School in Vernon, CT. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut. A 2018 Best of the Net Nominee, her work is published in Coffin Bell, Pank Magazine, Gone Lawn, Ghost Proposal, Philosophical Idiot, and other journals. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, three children, and poodle.