The child-god Love comes creeping on little cat’s feet. He carries a knife of steel and a knife of bone, one called ardor and one regret. His teeth are small and kitten-sharp, with an acre of hard pink gum between each. With alternate knives he carves his pound of flesh and swallows it in tiny shreds.

They build him shrines in lonely places, crouched hermetic and feral atop some rude menhir. They linger lovingly on the wry musculature of his uneasy body, the impudent arc of his hips, the taut urgency of his back, but shudder away from his face. Smeared with thumbprints and chisel scars, only the broadest features palimpsest through: the curl of a lupine lip, the inhuman spread of a cheek, the mocking malice of a brow.

A bowl of lamb’s blood and bitter herbs; a votive candle floating within. The child-god Love feasts on termites and wood-ants, and other small things burrowed inside of walls.