Magic Deconstructed 


Urine and jazz saturate the stairwell

between Union and the Mississippi,

A cross-rhythm syncopation of fresh

ammonia against augmented 7th,

stalemate of crass and class in the heat of

a burning and half-diminished sun.


True steps beating in time-feel, sweatlaced and

consuming what remains of the lost day,

fly swiftly toward an exit—one-two

pattern of converses and stars in a

place where the sales pitch is darkened, replaced

jaded by the realest real of them all.


Beneath shadowed Agave Maria,

Summer’s heat creeps soft into the city,

And balancing like a stone torrent smooth,

Waiting against the current for magic

to interrupt the dark chambers of self,

I embrace what is with abandon:


Deconstruction, cynicism, pathos—

all rummaging through ilk of cicadas

in human form, moving nymphlike from ground

to sky then back again with hollow shells

in their wake, machine whirring overhead,

night song written, then sung, then vanished

© Tonya Thompson, 2016