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The Magic Show

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

The broad face of a distant friend sits on my heart like a boulder.

I’ve sledgehammered it, but it won’t break.

A difficult conversation climbs the vines inside my thoughts;

I’ve cut it to the ground with words and logic, but it grows back, word-tendrils coiling

up and around.

A puff of gray smoke billows. When it clears, the illusions are gone, and you’re there

tamping tobacco into a bone pipe. Your hands are stained brown, and you reveal

a crescent-shaped, brackish grin. You tuck the pipe and tobacco into a leather handbag.

What is that label? Anne Klein?

“You called,” you confirm.

“How do you divest and manifest?” I ask.

You cock your eyebrows and wave your right arm in a rainbow’s arc.

A screen drops down (Oh, Goodie, a movie!).

You’re smiling and waving to the camera, a jiggling shadow flickering on the surface.

Tea-stained nostalgia dapples the images.

A few crackly black frames lurch past. We turn to each other, make eye contact, and

then you point urgently at the film.

It looks like you’re in a forest or jungle manically grinding grain with a mortar

and pestle; it scrapes and swishes.

A warming fragrance yeasts the air. You fashion your hands into a shell and blow

the powder into my face.

My eyes melt with tears.

When I open them, we’re walking in a midday desert.

Our shadows are so puny, they form small, black pools around our ankles.

It’s hot and the sand is desiccating my bare feet. As we walk, minute bits of me erode

into the sand until my body is gone. It’s not painful—just dry.

My consciousness is there, resting in the sand. Occasionally, a breeze

lifts it up in delicate strands and tickles it.

We sit like this for a long time.

Then, you pluck a raven’s feather from the black, Cavalier’s hat you’re wearing,

and simultaneously grab a handful of sand--of what’s left of me.

You throw them both in the air.

I’m my skin self again, but a black, pearlescence

glows under my flesh. I’m stronger now, soaking in quiet

with the cool night, the moon, and the granite mountains.

“This will always be here for you; even if, I wasn’t,” you say.

It’s true I know. The arms of the T in true break and form an arrow.

I’m divided and rearranged. The same and new.

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