A man who melts

Awake in the night again, before dawn. My lover comes, the man of butter, the man who is golden, whose fluids run over my body, who settles in all the creases of my skin, who anoints me before the morning. He tells me of his time in the mountains, of the golden cow who made him. She spends her days with her calf and golden ponies on mountain pastures, in the fields of summer grasses and wildflowers. I went there to meet them, I stroked their brows, we told each other stories. He watches over them. He watches over me. Wolves, boar and bears still roam. The air is clean. I see gentians, those flowers who recall the sky and your eyes. I think of my pictures, of the creamy milky colour of the spirit horse who stopped for a moment on her journey yesterday. She’s a foal and she’s old. She covers the child with her body; a spirit line hovers between her ears, dancing in sound.

The golden cow with her calf stands quietly beside the refuge, on the side of the toothy mountain. Some of her milk is drawn off into a jug. It is churned into butter by the men who tend the enormous ceramic stove, and who cook dumplings; the rooms are warm, and panelled in wood. Outside, amongst the rocks, the golden herdsman sits in the gateway; it’s where I met him in my dream. My mother brought spirit cakes. I took off my skin. He likes me; he likes the cakes. Butter runs in his veins, seeps from his pores. I meet him in the gateway each morning.

In his hands there’s a swarm of bees. He holds the swarm gently, it is a cloud, a black song. A man of honey too, the hives in the chestnut forests below the tree line were built by him. Great jars of honey and oil are kept by the bridge where the swifts scream. I stayed there when I was young, my body still asleep. A nun kissed me on arrival. I watched her care for bright geraniums through a window screen of linen. The airy rooms were roofed in prayer.