Paige Lewis is the copy editor at Divedapper and an assistant poetry editor at Narrative Magazine. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in
Bennington Review, The Cincinnati Review, Smartish Pace, Willow Springs, and elsewhere.
The magician pulls handkerchiefs from her throat
for a week until the rope of knotted silk ends
and she—she keeps going, her tongue pressed
down to make room for what comes next: swords,
of course, each one longer than the one before.
Then a live Doberman that limps off stage,
soaked and shivering. For a moment, her parted
lips reveal only light, but she reaches in and brings
forth a crystal chandelier with its candles still lit.
I watch for years, surviving off what she coughs up:
pheasants and scalloped potatoes on silver trays,
deboned salmon slabs. I’m not sure if her belly
shrinks because she lets nothing in or because she
takes everything out, but I’m grateful for her
dedication. For the pastel Easter basket, the kettle
of hawks in place of white doves, the fishbowl
and ceramic scuba diver who stands atop glow-
in-the-dark rocks, for the payphone, the umbrellas,
ribbed and open, the top layer of frozen pond
and the ice skates, for the twinkling music box,
and the green sweater I thought I’d lost in Michigan.
For the mattress and box spring I’m grateful,
though I’m the last one in the audience, and I
have seen enough. I tell her to stop and she stops.
As she packs, I ask about the first object she lifted
from her mouth. She opens her travelling case
and shows me her wisdom teeth nestled within
a small jar among sequined vests. And this makes
sense, like how Earth refuses to release its pull
on the moon. Look, she says, Look how full I was.