blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2010  Vol. 9  No. 2
print version

Instructions for Dematerializing
     for the disinterment of Harry Houdini

Feet Locked in Stocks
but your departed
wife has been cautiously levitating
nested escapeboxes out
from each other, one at a time: sleight of
matryoshka hand

: : :

You became the dreamt
trapeze husband, the properly applied
force of a shoestring. O handcuffed
secret, our unrevealer, how many locks
you’ve left for us to pop
open to find

Suspended in Midair from Ankles
the mind refuses to exhume
your illusion, containers of glass-
and-steel: the body lifted
right out of the body; earth
left open as an eye
socket after
the coffin is pulled

: : :

Tell us—will your bones
be laced, lined
with arsenic and the old
deep-believings of séanced
revenge? will we uncover fistfuls
of sleeping-dirt, the incessant
chill of wanting left
within answers within

Lowered into Tank Overflowing
with water your wife wrote
letters, dissolved: Dear
Ehrich, Dear Prince of Air,
Master of Cards, Dear Manacled

: undid each one until dis-
apparition, until she reached
right through the din of tricks,
of history, of death, into dear de-
materialized, dear my lovely
but you  end

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