In cities they make false worship
at geometry-butchered stones. I have paid you proper honour, alone
and bloody-handed, keeping my blade sharp.
Have taken blessing and given love:
prey laid open beneath an open sky is the altar that I pray by.
My sacrifice to Diana of the Grove.
I hunt, I hunker in the dark
hack joint and sinew into prayers for you
who lit me with lightning and left me marked.
Through the trees’ whisper
I track silver limbs and bare feet and your eyes as dark as sleep
til you retreat into the bright freshwater.
Hair roped like snakes
and skin like moonlight
as you rise from the lake.
You have spelled me undone
and glory dumbs my tongue.
Your gaze catches mine
like a hind
about to spring.
The forest blinks.
There is an itch
beneath my skin
and the welts
on my forehead
start to sting.