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Fable of Flesh
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Published: Sat Jul 01 2006
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Fable of Flesh

after Giacometti’s Palace at 4 AM


At 4 AM the bells
                            swallow their keys
              and a spine swings in its cage.

If the woman is a dream
                            what the spine dreams of
              warm balcony at the top of the tongue,

how many rooms does she bring?
                            Stories hung about her neck
              and waist like the iron weight

of a dowry. Hair tightly pulled
                            and a burlap dress, nevertheless
              toothsome in shadows, statuesque.

The temple pauses on one foot
                            to listen to the deep between
              breaths. Who knew a world

of crutches and stilts awaits,
                            a tilt just above sinking?
              The palace hears branches

canticle in winter; the palace
                            longs for Avignon in spring.
              The splintered aftermath—

an abstract of wood, glass,
                            wire, string, and a pair
              of wings stretched and pinned

to the walls. Here we are flightless
                            but we are not alone here
              we are so thin.

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