Into the Wood

Let us enter the wood.  Take my hand.
I feel your fear rise on your palm, a map beneath my fingers.
Can you decipher the pulsing code that beats at my wrist?
I do not need to see dragons to know there are dragons here.
The back of my neck knows, the skin of my inner thighs.
There, among the alders, between twin beeches, the gray-white pilasters twined with wild grape, stands a pavilion, inferior Palladian in style
Who sleeps on the antique couch?
I hear a thin scraping, a belly through dead leaves, a long, hollow good-bye, thin, full of scales, modal, descending sounds.
In the dark there will be eyes thick as starshine,
a galaxy of watchers beneath the trailing vine.
And trillium, the red of heart's blood, 
spills between rocks to mark the path.
Do not, for God's sake, let my hand go.
Do not, for God's sake, speak.
I know what is here and what is not,
and if we do not name it aloud it will do us no harm.
So the spells go, so the tales go, and I must believe it so.