The Tattoo

Blood and flame,
quiet sparks, this wooden bed.
Gods know the quickening —
the eye, the hand, the wrist, wrapped in fine skin.

Flesh marks tracing bled pattern,
soft heathen.
Horns and raven’s wings — cut me in silver.

Earth.

Spread me with axes and shields,
all that fair and fierce longing.

Over and under, over and under,
weave braids and veins
and cut the heart, fighter.
A shield born of ash and mist.
Touch me again.

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