Spear-shaft strength and a priest suffering
metallic inspiration – the taste of copper in his fingertips
making him itch and his flesh ring;
he scratches with blades and scratches foreign skin,
for daring to touch his own like a rash
he takes inspiration from stock photographs
and loathes all things that are opposed
to fresh, clean skin stretched over adult bones
to thick hair washed in Muslim blood and given dust-plain lustre;
to pressed suits and rolled up sleeves and single-crease cufflinks;
to a thousand yellow pencils and one red
standing a head above its peers –
Phinehas wants to be a red pencil,
so he daubs himself in love-blood.

He listens when Moses tells him he has done well.
He accepts Yahweh’s reluctant pleasure.
He stands and basks in Israeli sun-adoration.

He is made immortal in mixed-race copulation;
in the fires of interrupted orgasm,
and he shares in the pentration with spear-shaft pride
and strength as a gift from his shepherd;
Phinehas – the red pencil,
the violent sheep,
the blood-soaked curved-blade lothario
with prayers and images of Islamic vaginas
rolling in the space between his lips
and his teeth.