I’ve come to master just one magic trick—
not conjuring rabbits, not sleight of hand—
but to make time disappear, to stop its tick
and gab, at least a moment. Yet I stand
alone, on stage, unsure of when it works,
or why: guests, who love not poems, depart
no wiser, still hating the clock’s sly smirk;
then they poison it, stab its ceaseless heart,
but God or physics merely marks the time
of death, and we are back where we began.
Ladies and gents, I promise that the crime
is not punished but undone. If life’s span
is worth the pain, I won’t be here to say—
I’ve no tricks up my sleeve; there’s but today.