The Magician’s Assistant Vanishes

Shane Chergosky

Quick as your sabre into my wooden casket; the C-note supplanted in the core of an orange; a dove quietly smashed by the bitter cage. I feel contorted, like a Svengali. Like an animal puckered back into its balloon. You taught me to transfer the key to my mouth by blowing a kiss and pins are to lock as tones are to chord. I run my tongue over the brass to taste the music; the chittering shackles beneath my frock—how I modeled them with impeccable restraint. They disrupt not the hand, but what it reads: sternum; heat; tempo; the curl of the casket as it burns to a slab of ash.

You call it injection—this limerence when I plié, when I push and plunge. 

Each night, we devise resurrection behind a heavy curtain, and another theater collapses like a lung. Each night, I await your command.


Shane Chergosky was born in Minnesota where he was raised on stuffed cabbage and heavy metal. He was once publicly shamed by actor/comedian Hannibal Buress. Recently, his poetry has appeared in The HungerHASH Journal, and Juke Joint. He is an MFA Candidate at George Mason University.

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