Home » Poetry » Year 2: Day 165 – The Truth About Magic

Year 2: Day 165 – The Truth About Magic

Saw this kid at the shop last night,
must’ve been around eighteen,
played Dylan better than Dylan ever did.
The crowd inside was breathless,
little old ladies, hippie folk singers, and me
scribblin’ like mad to get it under my thumb:
that feelin’ like magic, like the universe stopped,
like this world earned a moment of peace,
and that slipping unease
that afterward comes with the silent question,
“Now what about you?”

What I am at twenty-five
is not as much as I want to be,
stifled by the things I’ve learned are unsafe to do:
you don’t follow the artist outside,
you just relax.
Blow a kiss to the stars in thanks
for a night well spent.

But back at the lab you muse about it,
toss in your restless bed about it,
roll that diamond memory around in your mouth
and believe there are more to be found.

What I am at twenty-five
is a silent fan, a secret collector of spark
inhaled and mixed with my blood and dust
and engine grease and spit
and not yet full enough
but getting close.

At eighteen I would’ve followed him outside,
but tonight I am rooted in the truth about magic,
the secret I’m pretty sure he knows:
we never own it, never get it under our thumbs.
We are secret collectors of spark.
We are glowworms radiating out
the light we let in
that we cannot keep.

And we can’t do more than breathe,
in and back out.

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3 thoughts on “Year 2: Day 165 – The Truth About Magic

  1. At 26, I know exactly what you mean, having this sense of not being what you want to be, and how even the happiness we can experience is far too short-lived. Good poem. I enjoyed it.

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