Link

Magic Rings

We belong to the conjurer. Separate and seamless, you in his left hand and me in his right. A twist, a clang, we slam into one. Solid chain, linked, as if made this way. As if always.

It’s jarring when they slip apart again. So smooth they go, and this time, without a sound.

We no longer speak in the dark. Promise has lost its voice. Nevertheless, we lean in as if we still believe. Look here, he says. He gives them a twirl around his wrist. We watch, knowing better. The price of admission includes a pass for enchantment.

Do we want them linked or free? Reasonable people would just get on with it. Decide and be done. If the man unbuttons his cape and hits the house lights, we’d know exactly what we’re working with.

Maybe impotence is a form of power. For a night, a year, for the backlit wish of a lifetime, magic is indulgence. Against better judgment, we hope he’ll never let us see under the hood.

When faith is in peril, keep the theater dim. Whisper the charm. Follow the gesture of the offered hand and pay no mind to his fingers. He may or may not wear a wedding band. Of all people, he knows how tenuous the link. He knows there are always invisible seams.

He’s mastered levitation and the suspension of doubt.

What happens to the discarded ring? Somehow, the story lingers. We refuse the god but ask the pastor to invoke him regardless. He is there still, or maybe it’s just an imprint of an aged spell. Hammered metal, more than an orderly arrangement of molecules in a chunk of deep earth. It is a thicket of notions, a fasting band, a crown of thorns.

You slept for a hundred years, after all, as did I.

Metal, dust, molecule, atom. Inside everything is the smaller fragment. What holds an object steady is just a set of conditions. What holds the intersection in alignment is just the proximity of sets. The stitching is evident if you look closely enough.

Incantation is both source and sustenance: the words, the whisper, the angle of light, and where you choose to place your hands.

We are not fixed by circumference. Every line we draw contains the space between component parts. Anything can escape.

Anything can stay.

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