It’s the night before the reunion with my brother the savage whose people & whose flocks infest the land. I isolate myself like a woman in her monthly time. But through the tent wall, through furs, through woolen blanket & robe, another pair of hands find mine & begin to push.
This is contact almost at the level of pure symbolism, but still a kind of arousal occurs. Some slave girl, perhaps, ambitious for a piece of the inheritance? I bump up against a maybe hip & thigh — something warm & solid with just a little give.
Who are you on the other side of sleep? Are these truly hands? Are you even human?
By way of answer, I am crushed in a sudden embrace. A hot harsh breath in my ear: this is no sweet angel. Now I am throwing punches hard enough to stun a ram. Now the curtain falls away & I am face to face with the darkness between the stars.
Ah, but we keep each other close as adversaries must, skin burning skin, grinding into the stony earth. I will not be anyone’s bitch. I will never say Uncle. I will survive until morning, & limp fully blessed into the glare of meeting.