The American Magician

The magician lived in Cleveland.
He had been named by his parents Franklin Sullivan.
Frank Sullivan was not a wizard’s name, and so he changed it.
He went by Abelard, his middle name.
He was over a hundred years old.
He looked thirty-five.
His eyes were older, and his hands, and his mind, and the soles of his feet.
These are the parts of the body that resist the magician’s art.

He was not much in demand.
The solicitor, the priest, the alienist competed for his few clients.
He survived, and studied, and was content.

He woke one morning to find magic fled from the world.
His cantrips failed, his incantations were only pretty music.
His charms fell apart.
He studied himself for some flaw.
He found none.
His dedication to the Art was sublime.

He closed his rooms and set out for the coast.
He would consult his learned and reclusive colleagues.
Had the witch lost her goddess?
Had the weirdling boy fallen silent?
Was the unquiet walloper still walloping junk for his bird-love?
Did the hindoo magic of the expatriate no longer cause the rain to fall?
Had magic gone from all the world or solely from him?