The Artist

The handcuffs were
no match for me.
From shackles too,
I’ve set me free.

In barrels they
submerged me deep;
I reemerged
without a peep.

Their prison bars
had bound me in,
but I bypassed
them on a whim.

That jacket too
with its long sleeves,
I wear with whimsy
in the breeze.

On burning ropes
high in the air
you’ll find me losing
not one hair.

Each scene in turn
outdoes the last,
compelling visions
from my past

to disappear
in puffs of smoke
lest my conceit
at hand they choke.

Then all at once
you’ll see no face.
A search will tell
I’ve left the place.

Though you send
parties searching wide,
you will not find me
where I hide.

You’ll call me foolish,
even mad.
“Why would he give
up all he had?”

But later then,
to prove I’ve won,
you’ll recognize
what craft I’ve done.

For who has ever
worked an act
as thorough as
my latest fact?

Perhaps you’ll
raise me up in fame.
Escape has always
been my game.