The Trick


When the magician, whose arms

extend up and down your sleeves,

disappears, your clothes and everything

else around you prop you among


the crowds. The hat you once wore hops

across some open distant field. Scaring

no one and receiving no charity, you

are carried by the wind from nowhere


special to nowhere special, where

every now and then a clothesline grabs

you by the collar until your memory,

senses are too worn for patches.


Your coffin, run through with swords,

cut in half, is lowered with knotted

handkerchiefs, but didn't need burying

since the milk you poured into a newspaper


cone soaked your cuffs. While the wizard

resides in your wardrobe taking your breath

away, the sounds roll in order off the tongue.

The banal city and forest worship the god.


Rich Murphy