The Vanishing Elephant

I loved a man who sought out chains only to escape them;
like Harry Houdini spent thirty-five years disappearing an elephant
– I shouldn’t have been surprised when he left –
(He warned me about his slight of hand.)
But age has made it so my wrists still ache from turning keys
– a reminder of how sad it made me – the metallic click
that echoes in my dreams like the cocking of a gun.
I wish I had not spent so long wondering if it was illusion or magic
– gift or curse – trying to work out in my mind which would’ve been worse.
If my heart was just a stunt to him – or my bed a great escape –
if he wrote of me then only to say,
“She is very dangerous.
The weight of her love is killing me.”

But I was not a lock – I did not try to keep him –
please, don’t believe him.
He was the one who asked for this.


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