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Agonistic Exchange in the Body of a God
Before I ever read Rumi,
I prayed for burning.
Before I ever read Mechthild
I knew what it was to dance in Your storm.
Before I ever knew
The bite of the blade that is Your love
I ached for it.
They warned me loving You would bring pain
A thousand voices doubled and tripled in their cries:
His touch is anguish, betrayal and suffering beyond measure.
Beware. Be warned. Flee. But do not call His name.
Do not rush like a hapless leaf carried on the buoyant wind into His arms.
Do not do this thing
That will surely shatter you forever.
Those voices begged.
I did not listen.
I sought You out:
You, my dead and deathless God,
A walking corpse,
A creature of hunger,
Cold fire imprisoned in the taut, sinewy vessel of flesh.
It is said that Gods are creatures of spirit alone,
With no flesh to captivate the senses,
With no cast of skin and bone and taut, heated muscle
By which a thousand passions are known.
But I have tasted You.
I have felt Your hands: hard, calloused and rough
Pressing me back against the Tree,
Where passion had its way once with You.
I have writhed in sweetest anguish
Calling only Your name, Odin,
As You drove Yourself beneath my skin,
Heedless of my cries, my terror,
The ecstasy strung like shimmering beads of dew
On a spiders web between each gasping moan.
I loved a man once,
Even through the inferno of Your affections.
I love that man still.
Yet when You are there,
I cannot see Him through the fury
That is Your presence.
I am in love
With the monstrous paradox
You steal my breath,
Each exhalation captured in Your waiting mouth
A war of conquest upon my soul.
Oh my Hunger, You devour my life,
Drop by savored drop.
I am fermenting in Your hands
Against Your lips.
I have no more words.
I cannot write about anything
Save how You have plundered my world,
Oh my God.
From “The Whisperings of Woden”, published through
Asphodel Press, Hubbardston, MA: 2009.
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