Mainstay. Ringside. Acts. The audience is meant
To believe in the tent even when they pass on
And it’s dismantled—apparition. “The night sky
Was in there. The full moon. The clowns wore
The gravediggers’ smiles.” Circular and itself
In a field. The events transpiring within an illusion
The performers and watchers aspire to maintain.
“The lions I think Africa. The trapeze intercontinental.
We were magicked away.” But there’s nothing magical
About the magical. The audience invents a moment
The disappeared reappear. Any moment now. Now.
Now. I’ve watched the sleight-of-hand from the gods
And found it wanting—each act I can’t take back.
The All-Purpose Magical Tent (Nightboat Books, 2009) is available from The Book Depository with free shipping internationally. NB the double-spacing of the poem is accurate.