Song of the Man [draft 3]

Diana, Light-Bringer.

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.

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