Stone Telling

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The Nerve Harp

by Mat Joiner

Some touches never go quite far enough —
the nails, the bite, and the blade make
a history of my skin. But I would have you
cut down to the electricity of me; a wound
you could put your hand in. I would ask:
Play me. Dance your fingers in pizzicato
on my nerves, and I will give you such rare tunes:
red notes rising from my lips, my spine arched
like a lyre's frame; the shiver and clench
of a muscled music. The weft of all feeling
lies under your hands; make of it a galliard
or some more jagged dance. I am unsung, undone,
for you – my harper; my heart.

Mat Joiner is a queer, poet and fantasist living in the English Midlands. His work has appeared in Not One Of Us, Goblin Fruit, and Through The Gate. He haunts canals, real ale pubs, and second-hand bookshops.

Photography: adapted from Twitter 365 Project – Day 71, by Richard Giles.