Shaft-Hole Axe Head with Bird-Headed Demon, Boar, and DragonStuart Greenhouse
The one real mouth is under their feet, 16 teeth- like ridges on either side of where the shaft had fit. Long dust, but the scene which topped it once remains. Look, my friend, the soul of confusion, is there. I recognize him by his feet grasping air, by his two gold buzzard heads and their steady sensitive eyes, by the way he twists each to an adversary, spiritual hunger closing in on his right, physical his left. He is the only obstruction they see, the intruder they arrange their appetite to. The pinch-bellied dragon crawls from low the axe’s nape, his tail scraping air where the shaft had been; his bronze scales, his part-bronze wings, his foreclaws churn deep the demon’s side, yet still his hunger is stayed at the throat by the demon’s steadfast grip; his leonine mouth, see, is windless, his hopeless eyes transfix nothing but the unsculpted air we breathe moving reflectionless beyond the demon’s twinned heads. Not so contemplative the boar whose dull gaze fixes down the soul’s gullet to the line where the bronze heads meld to iron clumsily enough for its artifice to show; where his tusks would be were his snout not clamped shut hard enough that he strains from that hold his back into the substantial blade which is the point of this all and here I, enmuseumed stranger, am, openmouthed at what, drawn to its balance, I hunger to hold, heft, swing. There’s nothing to touch yet I let the heft slip its weight through my eyes to the killing side of the weapon as the dragon of it pulls to the top like the sun, blindingly flashes. I right it, note its balance calls for one to hold it balanced. Built for killing and power, yet emptied now of intent as an acorn, as we slot together it concedes to lie with me when I lie, rise with me when I rise, all the days of my life, this ancient juxtaposition.
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