by rusty allen
A living chain of woodland fairies dance like temple supplicants round their mute, red-lipped god. They carefully fan his stone-glass cheeks, entreat him with sweet roundel songs and, like hungry babes nudging for mother’s milk, gently tap their dry picks, as if sacrament would flow like water from a desert rock. Round and round and round, fanning, touching, chanting until, the ritual full of potents, the temple cupbearer, conjured forth, appears out of a creaky opening of air, fuels the rose-lipped deity and goes away.
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