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The Light the Magician

ISSUE:  Spring 2007
The magician is
sawing light in half, his sheer,
importunate spell

meshed in the bright
cardiovascular net-
body suspended

in air before him.
A writhe of pain or supple
ecstasy shivers

through it, a blind name
he hums, his blade caresses.
Out here, we are screened

only by the mist
that sheathes them, incandescent,
each making a play

for its other. The saw
hovers in the shimmering
light; the magician

feels the bright music
climb his arm into his mind.
Just as he lets go,

the saw explodes, poof,
into the finest dust—stunned,
brilliant. The light holds

everything as we
watching everything merge into
one lovely bow, sweep-

ing its coattails back,
its top hat in a semi-
circle like the edge

of a broad-axe blade
toward us. The sigh of terror
and relief that joins

the dispersing light
could as well be its breathing
as ours, finally

released, time’s aura
and echo whispering each
other’s semblances.

Our applause rises,
as if in this rickety
hall it would fashion

a new renaissance
of domes, shadowing in them
history’s next sweet

cherubim of fire.


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