Conjuror’s Hat

May 30, 2016


As if he could fold
fish from the air:
silver quick magnets,
broad sluggards of slate.

As if he could
set them swimming on the wind
barely spinning their waters
churning motes in a moiré.

I had wanted to be
that liquid magician;
jokes fretting at his fingertips;
skulking in his cuffs: white,

But his hat slewed over my eyes:
tobacco reek in its brim;
split lining spilling
blood and a stuff like feathers.

As if, netting a stickleback
in the brook below my school
it dreamed itself into a book
or unfolded into
the drape of cut swans
that had been waiting in my scissors

Noel Williams