I paint my brow thick with crimson aspiration;
Mine is the scent of fresh blood and old leather.
I have slept little since I began making preparations,
But I dream of dark forests, wet fur, and frozen weather.
My skin is hot -- not with fever, nor disease of the body;
I am alive, every hair follicle stiff, my muscles and veins throbbing.
My flesh drips salty sweat, holy oil, and musk of animal longing,
As I scrape blade upon hide, cutting and braiding strips for flogging.