Sometimes a wild god comes to the table. He is awkward and does not know the ways Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver. His voice makes vinegar from wine. When the wild god arrives at the door, You will probably fear him. He reminds you of something dark That you might have dreamt, Or the secret you do not wish to be shared. He will not ring the doorbell Instead he scrapes with his fingers Leaving blood on the paintwork, Though primroses grow In circles round his feet. You do not want to let him in. You are very busy. It is late, or early, and besides… You cannot look at him straight Because he makes you want to cry. The dog barks. The wild god smiles, Holds out his hand. The dog licks his wounds And leads him inside. The wild god stands in your kitchen. Ivy is taking over your sideboard Mistletoe has moved into the lampshades And wrens have begun to sing An old song in the mouth of your kettle. ‘I haven’t much,’ you say And give him the worst of your food. He sits at the table, bleeding. He coughs up foxes. There are otters in his eyes. When your wife calls down, You close the door and Tell her it’s fine. You will not let her see The strange guest at your table. The wild god asks for whiskey And you pour a glass for him, Then a glass for yourself. Three snakes are beginning to nest In your voicebox. You cough. Oh, limitless space. Oh, eternal mystery. Oh, endless cycles of death and birth. Oh, miracle of life. Oh, the wondrous dance of it all.
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