Jerome is discussing his mediaeval site, where many nails
have been unearthed. Usually they rust away, he explains.
Just the sharp red sockets remain, ghosts of connection. Metal
was always precious.
  He bites into the tender waves

of a radicchio heart. Most societies revered metal. Malleable magic.
Makes me think about crosses. Say the crucifixion detail
was short of nails. They must have used great iron buggers.
They drove one through both feet. Chunk. Chunk.

He grates sea-salt meticulously on a cloven tomato.
Say they only used one through both wrists? Hammered it
into the vertical beam above his head. Would that still work?
He'd still be raising himself to expand his ribcase, so

he could breathe. There would still be that strain on the biceps
and intercostals--quite excruciating. I'm sure it would work
as well as open arms. And it would save wood as well as nails.

Jerome, always a keen disciple of conservation.

There is a strange blend of Casaubon and de Sade
about you,
I remark. He swallows a slither of Iberico ham
and mouths Thank you through crescent lips. For Eliot or Marquis
or meal, I cannot say. But he dances like a defrocked angel.

M.A.Griffiths was born and grew up in London, but now lives in Dorset (Hardy's Wessex). She enjoys writing both free and formal verse and edits a poetry ezine called WORM. My work has appeared in Snakeskin, Miller's Pond, The Eleventh Muse, Folly, Mind Mutations,Crescent Moon Journal and Mindfire Renewed, amongst others.

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