The Conjuror's Trick

He bypassed me.  I didn't see him as he
sidled in the door
like a thin thing sideways-on.

He perused the place, noted exits, entryways,
how many steps there were,
marked the rooms, chalked the doors
and chores done, he leaned against the wall.

He was in there I'm sure, waiting quietly,
serene about the to and fro, the tread of feet,
interesting, the traffic, distinguishing
her step from mine.

He often checked his pocketwatch, approving
Cousin Time's meticulous dispensation
of order and limit.

When the moment came, he was as usual nonchalant -
flicked a speck from his shoulder,
rearranged his elegance,
and with just a hint of melodrama 
in the swish of silk, he coughed politely
and with a gentle flourish
held out his hand.

There was a moment of suspense
in his audience of one,
but no flash and no bang came,
his disappearing act was never overdone.

They left behind
a lame and silent room, unoccupied, 
quiet curtains closed against the light.
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