Mid-gestation, man dangles
from the god’s thumb and first finger,
a half-made candle, a taper
held by the wick and dipped in tallow.

Even when the creature’s legs peel apart
and he stands, how waxy
his pallor, how little thunder he can draw
down on his blasphemy.

That the maker stole what
smoldered to color the homunculus in
isn’t the stunner. The stunner
came after, when ruddy-faced men

lit one another like candles and bore fire
in fennel to holocausts,
proving that no pantheon can shame its gods
quite like an unblushing man.