The Bannik is a bathhouse spirit in Slavic mythology. The imagery it sparked led me to some interesting places. It's also the second sonnet in this year's cycle to (obliquely) reference Led Zeppelin...
We dig our claws so deep into each other
that life becomes an ecstasy of blood ‒
the wordless canticle of heedless lovers
to raise a charm against the coming flood.
We prophesy in childbirth and in water,
equivocate through fantasy and pain ‒
together we will give the world no quarter
but slide our claws under its skin again.
And when the levee breaks we flee in fire,
preferring to incinerate in style,
yet still the blazing folly of the pyre
provokes a sudden unexpected smile ‒
some understanding born out of desire,
a whispered kiss for every lonely mile.