“Magician Man” — Candace Hartsuyker


It is only when she comes over, soft haired and moth voiced that he isn’t ashamed. She knows who he is: his face is someone else’s mirror, but she sees the cracks within. Hands like switchblades laid silent in a drawer. To everyone else, he is a keyhole in a doorway, not a boy who gives too much of himself away.
Supple bodied, he stretches into his true skin. Fishnets and a dress. High heels soundless, he struts; he sways. She sees a painted face, a pained face. As a man, he is track marks and shadows. He is two broken ends of a switchblade, eyes a well she will fall into. Her body crawls to him, small fingers knotting the hem of his slippery dress.
Boneless, leaping. She cries when he slams his hand against glass. She finds him not on asphalt like last time, but on the floor, hidden by the stairs. She is a girl who is silent, still, unable to look away.
He is sweat and cold. His makeup smearing, the dress staunching his wound, wrapped around his fist. Like a magician folding himself up inside a box and locking up the key.





Candace Hartsuyker loves 1940s screwball comedies, YA lit, all things theater, and film noir. She is a first-year fiction student in McNeese State University’s MFA Program.