You must come, they said; he is hurt, they said.
My heart gave a kick like a growing child
and I ran - I ran down to the river,
running through the soft grasses and the sage brush
to him, lying there, lying on the bank.
He lay face down.
I did not like to move him,
though his poor face pressed into earth and thyme,
so I held his hand (it was cold and smooth
and slick, like altar candles) and I stroked
his thick black, long black hair. Bees vibrated
and the trees breathed; my sister Demeter
walked through the meadows with life in her train.
Let us take him, they said, to prepare him,
lady; and they raised him up in their arms.
His head fell back.
I watched them carry him
through the soft grasses and the sage brush, home.
Then I lay down in that little form where
the grass was flat and dark. And it was cold.
I looked to where the stars hid, and I felt
power surge in every cell, as though I might
inspire each last dead leaf and straw to love;
yet I had lost my own. Ichor ran like gold
under my skin, and under my hand blood
soaked the cool earth. Somewhere the boar cowered,
tusks as dark as wine.