Now you see it, the magician says, unveiling the wall
of cereal packages in the supermarket,
now you don’t, turning on the news.
Freedom is his specialty:
a rabbit in a top hat
pulled out for show
and made to disappear
when it squirms too much.
He opens a fan in his hand;
pick a card, a credit card, a green card,
any card will liberate you.
He saws you in half
to give you two choices
at once
and waits for applause
before putting you back together.
Then he tells you to stand
perfectly still
and calls
for the knife thrower.
Don’t be nervous,
he says as he ties the blindfold,
it’s only a game.


David Chorlton
Collage: Rupert Loydell

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