The Illusionist by Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

I present to you   an ordinary mirror–   
a poem in which I will attempt 
to recreate a memory   before your very eyes–
a dangerous disguise
I must warn you now
don’t try this at home

I am   after all   only a reflection of you
The black dye leaking from my brain 
is not real  
merely the faint imaging of a cheap out-of-date copy machine
wet with promise
The blood leaking from my veins    
is not real   
merely a second-hand emotion     
like the drool from my painted lips
this printer’s ink     
that will run slip and sink    momentarily
onto the computer screen    that is my life

But first    let me blindfold the mirror
in which I will seem to appear 
and disappear 
like dry tears that run to the sea– 
that old familiar pull  
like the pull of the moon
(not the moon itself mind you
just the reflection)
like the face I am about to make
another deception   that requires concentration
that requires something I can only imagine

In this next stanza 
with just the faint impression of these words
I will attempt to simulate
the illusion of meaning   a bold expression
a river of echoes before you
a river of sighhhhhhhhhs 
guaranteed to anaesthetize 
not pain itself   mind you
just the reflection                                                  

this is not a real poem                                 
just the inflection
like the tears i paint
with artificial color
from artificial eyes
the artificial flowers
I throw in shallow graves–
a dangerous disguise 

I must warn you again
don’t try this at home

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