My Next Trick

Give me that magic-man,
a sorcerer with doves for elbows
and flowerbeds of scarves
where intestines should wind
Give me his address and a lift
to his molding flat,
a museum of faded show bills
to tell his story like Russian tattoos.
        Somewhere in there
among the monkey heads
and collapsing top hat,
the wand and trick cards
and white cotton gloves,
buried in the head
of Rusty, the wise-cracking dummy,
the name of an assistant
he could no longer
        secretly love.
On a square of paper rolled up
and hidden in an eyeglasses repair kit,
a spell to bring her back,
a potion to initiate the exorcism
of his guilt, some tincture for salvation,
a communion of counsel with ancestors
who were all farmers and never attacked
someone without good reason.
Give me enough time to ask
the right question or give me this:

        a small pillow
        a tuxedo

        a knee-high
        trap door

        the box
        that slices
        people in half

        the ending
        given away:

        abracadabra

        or simply:

        voila,
        I’ve missed you



About Michael Haeflinger

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