Poems & Essays

17 Dec

Learning to Be a Magician

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For the Mothers

My advice is to wear red silk, stand on stage, where all mothers of dying sons stand, and act as if you really were a magician. Plunge your arm deep into the black hole of the top hat. You’re sure to pull out a ragged poppy, a ceramic pot, the gray silk of dawn, the crescendo of a stranger’s laugh. Something at least. The audience will shout and clap, “Hooray for you! He’s dying & you keep going.” They mean it; their hearts are pure. Some of them have been on this stage before. They know you’re a beginner, and they love you, so do whatevertricks you need. After Shiva, you can twirl your cape & hide, but you’ll need to keep studying; you must learn the magic words needed to run through the shards of tears littering your kitchen floor. The living must continue to live; there’s no escape. You have to stay behind. You don’t get to make your own grave. You must love the world again, trusting that one day, your magic will be perfected. And it will. On that day, you’ll look West; a road will appear and bring you to its end; there, a door, just your height, will open, and, course complete, a true magician now, you’ll disappear.



Author of two poetry chapbooks, Ona Siporin’s work has also appeared in various journals, including Indiana Writes; Cimarron Review; Sackbut Review; cold-drill; and The Sun. She is past recipient of a Celia B. Wagner Award, an Albert J. Colton Fellowship for International Research, and a writing fellowship from the Idaho Commission on the Arts.

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