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Over a supplicant, slippery cloth.
With sparks she vanishes in flash-
powder smoke. Balls multiply, a die
expands, birdcages appear/disappear.
Princess Karnac hovers, a hoop around her body.

The hat. The rabbit. The sawn
woman. A missing village, population

Somehow he knows
the amount of change in your pocket,
the loss of your brother in Iraq.
Not the nights at a dark window,
mornings over the toilet bowl.
Not the day you leaned on your car horn
for two hours, hoping for rescue. Not
the afternoon you fell
through the backyard hole
to China.

He restores
the praying lady, but she
is not the same. You
wake in a garden,
weeds ablaze.


Stephanie Pressman started writing poetry at about age eight and finished a romantic novelette at thirteen. Currently mostly retired she lives in Cupertino, California, editing and producing chapbooks and books of poetry and short stories for her very small press, Frog on the Moon. Her work has appeared in many journals including Bridges, cæsura, CQ/California State Poetry Quarterly, The Kerf, The MacGuffin, Montserrat Review, and online in Newport Review. She was the recipient of the 2013 Cupertino Poetry Award.

© 2013, Stephanie Pressman

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