for our Lady of the Hounds

Listen, sweetness—

He came to me, one indistinguishable fishtailed god of the sea among many, panting his hot lusts in my ear, begging my knowledge, my useful skills turned to his fruitless ends. “She is beautiful,” he urged, “clear as still water, radiant as coral, powerful as the tide.” He pled a bridle, a bit, training to ride; I plowed him into the sterile sand, quickened with life, potent with god-need, turned him away. He curdled to hate, endless hate, as quick as that, spat curses, and left.

No, no. They want everything who have earned nothing.

Take this, then, his poison, my art, and drink it deep. Pull it deep into your lungs, your blood, your hungry flesh. Grow strong, quick of tooth, strong of neck, breathe water, crunch bones, eat blood. Bay at the moon from a seaside cave from a half dozen lupine throats. They will flee you as they once pursued you, speak honest hate as they fly past, honest fear. The gods themselves will shudder to draw near, pass only at your sufferance, only at your price. They will call you a horror, who only saw your beauty.

Drink this, my sweetness, and grow wild.