What shall we say of him, this shackled conjurer,
light soaked and bristling like a blossom
against the Harvard Bridge? Say he gathers
the eyes of death to himself, suspended
clear above his reflection on the Charles River.
Say he is nothing like the chains he sheds.
Moments before, Houdini took an envelope
from his manager, scrawled “I leave it all to Bess”
Say this man is your desire to be free, to emerge
from a cold river and feel the weight
of light dripping from your fingers.
Andrew McSorley is a graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. His poems have previously appeared in The Minnesota Review, Blue Earth Review, Lindenwood Review, Rougarou, and elsewhere. He lives in Appleton, Wisconsin where he works at the Seeley G. Mudd Library at Lawrence University.
Artist: Anna Dittmann, “Bramble”