The Sandy Eubank Memorial Prize
Spring 2010
Brian Slusher

The Invisible Rope Trick

Your accomplice stands     opposite, across the road
and you both wait     for the cue of a car, then

take up the invisible     rope, grip its rough
nothingness and to-     gether haul hard until

the driver slows into     belief, stops before a
barrier of air, an     invention he curses

when he should be     praising your creation,
a miracle for free, akin     to Aaron casting staffs

down into serpents     or your Old Man turning
gin up into gentleness     his free arm looping

your shoulder as he     sips and slides his
half-hug tighter, almost     like it’s not a noose

and you hold up your     end, a taut duet of
feigned ease, as you     lean in, breathe the reek

of the blood you share     and what’s not there is
suddenly there, strained     but holding on
©2010 Brian Slusher