The sorcerer’s voice calls out in darkness:
Hold your head steady, as if the apple were not
about to fall in clean halves to the ground, as if
its shine and crimson were not once again the target
for arrows and knives aimed from a distance— as if
their whistling, as they ribbon the air, were done
in good sport, not from deliberation. You don’t
always see who it is that raises an arm, the moment
the string draws back, taut to its full extension.
Behind you, the plank of painted wood is nicked
with a tally of misses, a history of lucky evasions.
A monkey on a leash claps brass cymbals and cycles
in its rhinestone tutu. For authentic spectacle,
the audience has paid. And from watching and waiting,
you know how to spring the blade loose
from its cage, how to send dark warnings
with only your eyes; how it takes one flick
of the wrist to release its lethal intention.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.