Nathan Elias

Playing Your Old Guitar on the Fourth of July

It worked: you smiling, strumming
as you sang a verse, moving me

with those boney fingers picking thin strings,
calloused. You cautioned the wooden skeleton

in my hands, you said, Just feel
its neck and body. Press the bronze down

on the fretboard, let the skin almost break.
It burned like your vacant touch

when the watercolor sky crescendoed.
I wondered if you understood the language

of light and fire and blood.
How else could you have known

the perfect tempo to play along
with the horizon? You alone

possessed a fluency of music
enough to interpret me.


Nathan Elias is the author of A Myriad of Roads that Lead to Here (Scarlet Leaf Publishing House, August 22, 2017) and Co-Editor of Varnish: A Journal of Arts and Letters. Nathan writes and makes films out of Los Angeles, CA where is currently earning an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. His work has appeared in The Blotter, Red Fez, Eclectica Magazine, Hobart, Literary Orphans, Birdville Magazine, and is forthcoming in Drunk Monkeys. His film ‘The Chest‘ premiered at Cannes Film Festival 2015.

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