“When death reached out its hand,
you should have cowered. When you felt the
flames of hell licking at your insides, you were not
supposed to draw closer to the fire.
I watched you disembowel the Earth, saw you pluck
flowers from your mother’s garden and gouge
your fingers into its open wounds,
trying to pry secrets out from the soil.
Everything green started to shrivel
and die when I entered the meadow, but you didn’t
flinch away; instead you kissed me voracious,
like I was something dark you’d tugged
out of reluctant soil.
I wanted your hands, still caked in dirt,
pressing into my naked back.
I thought you’d understand me. Both of us
wanting what we shouldn’t. I know your mother
must have warned you about gods like me.
Tell her I am not a selfish lover. Tell her how
I kneel at your altar and crush the berries
of your hips into wine. That I worship you.
That we spread each other open like flowers
blooming in the night. You wanted to see
what paradise looked like drenched in moonlight,
so I brought you home with me.
When you stood before the gates of hell,
all the beasts lowered their heads
and bowed at your feet.
Everything I have belongs to
you — my wife, my queen.
You are so much flesh and blood,
so much heaving, pulsing, breathing life.
You make the death in me tremble.
I am forever yours.”