The hands of my god are dark and rough,
calloused and imperfect.
Fingers too long, with slight tremors
straining to maintain their man shape.
Nails lacquered black, chipped and chewed,
and everywhere smudged with ash and resin.
These hands have dug in dirt,
clawed at the walls as he howled to get out of his head;
these hands know the way to unlock doors,
how to shatter mirrors, what it is to stroke an enemy’s throat
– feel of pulse throb beneath paper-thin skin –
touch delicate as a lover’s caress, as he smiles and whispers,
“You don’t know yourself, but I do.”
His hands hold high the fennel shaft, with its streamers of ivy
and pine fruit swollen and glorious.
His hands weave spirals as he dances, caught up in ecstasy’s whirlwind,
hips swaying serpentwise, hunting boots slapping out the rhythm
the drummers follow, frenzying the forest brides
and the priestesses of the winepress.
His hands are wet with spray of the beast,
red that seems black in the half-light spilling through the leaves,
flecks of flesh and fur sticking to them.
These hands are firm when you shake, and will never let go.

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