Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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Magician’s Girl

You’ll know when. My gossamer singlet flushes
            to its ends in fire. The black hats, too, begin
                        to hate you. One wrong word & they curl their brims

            to reveal knives. By Thursday, the floor translates

your footfalls as Morse code. At your slow soft shoe,
            the oubliette opens. Another narrow not-death
                        & the curtains become girls again. They leave

            you again. They don’t love you like Mother does,

bound to the velvet board, febrile Mother willing
            your water-tank, your white-gloved touch,
                        the part of her night where she is finally a half

            of you. Despite the involvement of blades. Despite

my holding-down hands, their quiver. She knows
            about your knob-kneed bedmates, their soft
                        white hair. Girls lost in the long warren

            of your arms. Big-toothed girls, girls who disappear

& disappear. You blame yourself. Why? You
            don’t know that what you do in the dark
                        of your room—I do it too? Watch closely. Here

            are my man’s hands. Here is my girl’s mouth, speaking—  end

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