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Houdini was set on fire, was fire,

            on the shore of the lake, briefly, a spark

puncturing the glintless gloom, water

            crestless and afraid of making a single wave,

and it was there, on that dock that day,

            when Houdini became a human torch,

but only in metaphor mind you, a torch

            blazing soundless, igniting, billowing,

bellowing: all the things a good fire does,

            and he unlatched everything from himself,

his bones and flesh, soul and body

            and Houdini floated free, on fire,

as fire, and a single drop of his flame

            landed on the pebbled berm of the lake

and that’s where diamonds should have

            erupted, and that’s where we should gather

every year and burn his body again,

            or something like his body, a Eucharist

of ash, from whence we came or

            whence we arrive, winged and haloed;

a breath against the crackling tongue

            to make it rise, flicker to life.