Each escape
involved some art,
some hokum, and
at least a brief
exchange between
the man and metal
during which the
chains were not
so much broken
as he and they
blended. At the
end of each such
mix he had to
extract himself. It
Was the hardest
part to get right
routinely: breaking
back into the
same Houdini.

Used by permission of the author.
Source: Poetry (Poetry Foundation, 2004)
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