The Art of Escape
The smoke and mirrors, spare cloak
in the hanger, every room – you say,
a green room because we have been
preparing for a grand show no one will see –
and every empty chair observe silence,
and if you step outside, the standee displays
‘Magician is dead; long live the magic!’
in front of the city hall. The tips of the trees
celebrate some pyromaniac’s wet dream.
Do they bet on the fate of an escape artist?
Rain pasees the panes. The sidewalks turn green.
Waiting plays a trick, and I let it think that
it picks up the wrong card.
The Vanishing Act, Magician
(In memory of the magician Uday Shankar Saha)
The white mice from his handkerchief
shiver with the freedom, as if
they remember being nonexistent.
The flash, smoke and mirrors,
the stage waits for the trick,
and we think we know the punchlines
beforehand. One little father
holds the hand of his big son,
ready to leave the proceedings.
The son looks at one mice near his feet.
The faint noise is a sight now. A sleight of fate,
a magic rolls on, the magician, gone, exists
as the stage, audience waiting and leaving,
boxes and handkerchiefs, saw and mice.
I close the door, say, “Enjoy.”
to the killer returned to the x;
downstairs, I descend,
a housekeeper of death.
Downstairs, it rains, or so I hear;
the killer lies where his last victim fell.
In the jail of his socks his toes wiggle.
In my empty room, I pick up the phone,
but dial all the wrong ones.
The dead girl stands near my window,
“Uncle, I am behind my rents, I know.”
She says. I nod. The killer knocks on