In her dark corner she empties
another glass of beer,
snakes a rose-glass medallion
through her fingers,
a magician at practice —
she drops four pieces of ace under-elbow
into the Impossible
Torn Asunder & Restored Card:
even tired she is clinically clean,
repairs the ace so deftly I want to say
why’s a conjurer like you here? but she’s
heard it from suits, the sellers
of synthetic futures.
I shake a Chop Cup, before I’m done
she dumps the dice from her purse.
I tell her she’s good. She nods, reaching
for time, fires my Phoenix Watch,
can’t extinguish it in three seconds
so we endure twelve chimes. She says,
I tried to quit but what’s better than magic?
I don’t know and I don’t want to know —
we can’t afford the big-bang tricks anyway,
make do with Hindu Baskets and Chalet Doves:
every night we’re here, we’re there, anywhere
over & over people clap.