Before Maenads This Love


And it takes. He feels it stir within him. For a moment, he is dizzily aware of a second pulse, beating against his thigh. Strange life, grown stranger in this unfamiliar space. He grows full, warmed by this warmth pulled quiet and small from the ashes.

There passes a time, a lengthy time.

It grows within him, fed on his body, drunk on his body. Fishes against his skin. Warm grip of sea weed, fertile swelling. He languors slowly, spins like the moon in orbit about this new body, this body within his body. His mind turns inward, dwells in hidden places, unseen vistas.

And yet more time.

It becomes real to him, this thing. This more than human life. This more than other other. He drinks deep of the thought of it. Born not of his mind, not of his body. Seized with intent. Made to live by his hands. He names it, dreams of a future, dreams it heroic or vile or mad. Life and work goes on. They move together toward an obscure end, breathing life, heady with blood, with wine, with an anticipated, postponed separation.

And yet more time passes.