“To David: Love Goliath of Goth” by Michael G. Cornelius

Sapling champion of the Israelites:


I am Warrior God of the Philistines,

Slayer of the Hazimonians,

Annihilator of the Assyrians,

Canker in Pharaoh’s Eye.

I have crushed nigh

ten thousand men

in my bare, calloused hands.

I am giant;

I am king of all I survey.

Earth Shaker.

Killer of beasts and sea;

sovereign of storms;

ruler of every domain.


David, meet Goliath, your master.


I stare into your black unblinking eyes.

In them I see myself.

They are strong eyes

for a weakling boy—

obsidian, volcanic glass,

unflinching, unyielding, unusual.


Your tunic, maroon and gold;

your hair dark and wind-

tousled, sweeping curls

that catch at the back of

your neck. Your limbs are

small but supple, your

muscles well-rounded as your

flesh curves over your young

skeleton. The body smooth, not

yet touched with the down

of manhood. The will of youth,

a kindling in your flesh, shines

like a tumescent opal

against hot buttressed sand.


Thusly, we gaze into each other’s eyes.


We neither move nor breathe; we only peer,

your eyes staring but not seeing. My eyes

look no longer into yours but scavenge

your flesh, ranging over you—your skin,

your form, your sinew and smoke—and my heart,

my heart, beats rapidly, flushed, pounding not

for battle but for something else, something feral,

something wild. I am lost, powerful, confused, aroused.

I am conspicuous. I am found.

Uncertainty pierces my chest; my eyes dazzle

at your fire. I am your champion, but not your



Goliath, meet David, your master.


‘Tis true! So help me, ‘tis true!

You will be my prize, David,

young Mithra, fire god,

you will be my reward for victory this day and

we will be together in the eyes of all men

and gods! As you walk towards me with small,

unhesitant steps, your legs taut and sun-darkened,

I choke a happy laugh. You level your spear

at me, portrait of a man, facsimile warrior,

and I must use all my will not to rush you, to

grab you and cover you with thousands of

kisses. I will feed you sugar dates and

sweetmeat with my warrior hands. I will be

your king, and you mine. We will rule together,

warrior and page,

Achilles and Patroclus

Hercules and Iollas

our brothers in the spirit and the flesh.

You will be conquest and conqueror.

It will be said that neither

Ra, nor Jehovah, nor wicked Inanna

could defeat the great warrior;

only boyish Eros, with

fools’ weapons, is strong enough to

bid the mountain to bark, to swoon, to

die a thousand deaths at your feet.


As you raise your sling, I rush forward for

our first embrace.

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