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.
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.