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By series: Bridge St  In Yr Ear  Ruthless Grip

Resurrecting the Fly

The man held a fly in the palm of his hand
As though it were an earring his daughter had lost
And cried over losing, an heirloom whose meaning
He couldn't understand, but had tried to. A crowd
Gathered around him. They'd seen him swat it dead
Moments before, had watched the street magician
Stoop to pick it up and place it there, almost daintily.
I saw this on TV, and had seen the magician before--
Card tricks, levitations-- always on television.
Already that night he'd swallowed a foot of string
And pulled it inch by inch out of his side.
Ashes he'd rubbed together in his palms disappeared,
Then reappeared on the hands of a thuggish volunteer.
When a woman picked the Four of Hearts from the deck,
Four red hearts appeared in ink across her chest.
But when he held his hand over the fly, and the fly shook
And flew away, I nodded to myself, without thought,
And laughed, without choosing to laugh, surprised.