by Kate Wright

Why do I love
the magician’s sleight
of hand as he pulls
your card from his white
threadbare sleeve?
He aims to deceive,
to trick and steal
your smarts with his
sly yellowing smile,
pulling hares from hats
and scarves from mouths.
Why do I adore
his gaudy get-up, 
his made-up assistant?
Their exaggerated gestures
clutch my attention,
every reveal forces gasps
and vibrant applause. 
I don’t care that
his awkward paws reveal
flaws in his work:
wires and strings,
false bottoms, trick cards.
I love the sensation
of his shabby showmanship,
slipping tricks, tricking
eyes, stealing awe.