There is this illusion of you I hold in my hand.
You have looked inside all the other books
and this is the poem for you. Tell the others to avoid
self-motivation. There is only one clear way
out of this, and it involves quiet desperation
of the mouth and gentle tricking of the sounds
that come out: come now, you are a visitor,
and for that I am deeply enraged. If you do not own up
to whom you have committed. If you take
a stance and practice it for hours. Days. This year
is the year of the groundhog with perfect vision.
Taken the place of the president, I have become
something worse, something purple, and the co-
conspirators adopt me with smiles, convinced
the reins are supple and bright as a jail.
“The Illusionist” appeared in Court Green, #4 (2007).