His eyes are still closed.
The hillside green and wet.
She would not be surprised if shaggy hair sprouted from his sinewy thighs,
for cloven feet to indent the moist earth, tangled among the dandelions and dew.
The memory of horns sits on his temples,
the frown of sleep.
She does not smooth the hair away;
sometimes it is black and fathomless like the eyes of a stag
at others, lit from within
like the flesh of a hand held up to block the morning sunlight.
She touches the faint marks through his lips
where his mouth was once sewn shut for telling the truth.
He is still handsome —
he will always be handsome. Perhaps more so, now.
His body is a delta, a bone-carving
a tale of eons mapped in scars.
He has suffered.
He has prevailed.
He will endure.
[An illustrator, writer and polytheist for over a decade, Shirl Sazynski paints icons and tells stories rooted in mystical experience and myth. She is a frequent contributor to Eternal Haunted Summer and blogs on Slavic Paganism and Heathenry for Witches and Pagans magazine (One-Eyed Cat). Her work has appeared in several books from Bibliotheca Alexandrina, numerous literary and commercial magazines, several newspapers and galleries, and a launched computer game. She is also a professional tarot and tea-leaf reader and practicing spaekona (Norse seer). More information about her work can be found at shirlsazynski.com.]