Marriage Poem By Richard Frost
A lady is brought forward, and after making her bow to
the audience she retires to the back of the stage.…There
she is caused to rise in the air, to move from side to side, to
advance and retire, and to revolve in all directions.
“Conjuring,” Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Edition
First, it was the common magic—
organdy skirt, lace petticoat,
your hair in sunlight,
our tight young skin.
Our act was applauded,
held over, licensed in May.
I grew adept at pulling spring blossoms
out of a glass. Bushels of them lay
around your ankles. I learned the rising cards,
the inexhaustible bottle. A toy bird perched
at the top of my chair, fluttering and warbling.
On a table my brazen head of Orpheus
clanked and answered questions. For encore I drank
a melted mixture of pitch, brimstone and lead
from an iron spoon, the stuff blazing furiously.
With my rings, levers and spindles, gears and hoops,
sockets, springs and bellows, I became famous.
The apparent floating of a woman in empty space
was my best. I covered an iron lever with velvet
matching the background and therefore invisible.
The lever, attached to a socket in your metal girdle,
passed through an opening in the back curtain.
You rose, spinning, fanning the air like a bird.
Then I passed a hoop over your body
and brought you to the floor.
Taking from my pocket a newspaper,
I opened it and laid it upon the stage.
I showed the audience a chair, front and back,
and placed it on the paper. You took your seat,
and I cast over you a piece of black silk.
I shouted, “I’ll throw you in the air,”
grasped your waist and lifted you above my head.
You vanished, covering and all, at my fingertips.
from Neighbor Blood