Merlin Cunniff

I will never be your Muse but I can fuck your Muse:
Erato down from Olympus with purple lipstick slashed across my teeth and the wind of the passing trains grinning across our prickled skin, Euturpe catching my wink across the bar when the night has gone to fairy lights and drum&bass and cheap beer that tastes like your first party,

I can scrape my teeth across your Muse's cunt, myrtle leaves and roses - red - and leather and salt, you can watch if you want: she screams flute arpeggios and birdsong and the taste of her acid-slicks my throat.

I mean to say, I won't be what you want, but I can get you what you want: Sappho's lyre, a gold-bowed kithara with every string snapping under your hand--

You can pretend the Muse isn't weeping my name, if it's easier.
You don't speak birdsong anyway. And you don't remember my name –
that isn't what you needed for your poem. The lines come after she does. 
Boys like you don't write poems about me.

Listen. There's a fire somewhere, and past it a cave, old waters and old wagers, cold truth.
My Muse lives there and she could shatter you like a dead tree:
Apollo in red lipstick and Athena with a tangle of hemp rope, the bubbling well, the tendrils of the sun coursing through your veins, a wind lacing through pipes, a lover's kiss, a shade.

Merlin Cunniff is a graduate student of poetry and definitely not the autumn wind trapped in a jean jacket and combat boots. They can be found in gay bars, cemeteries, forests, and howling through the e-trees at @mjcunniff.