Paige Lewis
I Love Those Who Can Walk Slow over Glass and Still Hold

all their blood. I want to lick their smooth arches.

My lover says he could do it if he wanted to,


It's all about weight displacement. He ruins

every illusion by staring at his own hands. I ruin


every illusion by threading it to hunger. When

Eric the Great was twelve, he ran away to earn


money for his family. He returned to his mother,

his pockets filled with coins, and said, Shake me,


I'm magic. So often our bodies betray us, just look

at our feet, how they point to what we desire.


Sometimes I don't look until I'm headed out

the door. I've got so much to do. Overgrown


boy. Tight smile. My father was always arriving

late, confirming his face in every window's reflection.


The wind that finds its way into this city

is the cruelest, the kind that searches for our


soft spots. Pulsing tender skulls. My mother

called to say, Go on and eat. I can't be late when


everything I reach for moves further back. The lake,

folding its skin. I only know that a mirror is silver


because I've seen one scuffed. All my spoons

are weak-necked, but I was wrong when I said


the most desperate noise was either silverware

clattering in a fast-pulled drawer, or a swing sets'


sharp chirp. Sometimes it's hard to know the built

from the grown. Sometimes it's our fault. The serinette


was created to teach canaries how to sing correctly.

And when my lover tells me I'm correct to love him,


I know the noise isn't metal at all. It's not the rattle

of coins, but the scrape of fingers picking them up.


As an adult, Eric the Great changed his name to Houdini

to honor Jean Robert-Houdin, who would open his palms


to the audience and say, Nothing here now—neither anything,

nor anybody, before pulling his wife from the ether.


Found In Volume 46, No. 05
Read Issue
  • paige lewis
Paige Lewis
About the Author

Paige Lewis is the author of the chapbook, Reasons to Wake You, forthcoming with Tupelo Press. Their poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, The Georgia Review, Colorado Review, and elsewhere.