Illusionist

Illusionist

1.

Night. No moon. 

An empty theatre. You. 
The stage.
To begin again with what you know. 

The sleight of hand,
the lifted spoon
which stroked, will bend and melt.

Before the crowd arrives
you’ll read the mind of every single person:
shoe-sizes; dates-of-birth; their secret dreams.

This stage:
a box for doves, silk-scarves, top hat, 
white gloves, a wand;

a guillotine,

whose blade will rest across
your glamorous assistant
as you unleash a hand of aces and a queen.

2. 

Night. No moon.
A crowded theatre. You.
The stage. 

To begin again. What you know
is that the doves have flown;
the spoon won’t bend.

The gloves are torn;
the top-hat’s empty.
You drop the cards, your mind’s a blank;

your glamorous assistant’s dead.

The audience gasps .
His heart explodes like thin red glass.
Suddenly you’re trapped

in your own maze of mirrors.
Suddenly you’ve shattered.
Who’ll sweep you up from the floor?

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