Home > Poetry > Fable of Flesh
Hadara Bar-Nadav
Published: Sat Jul 1 2006
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood
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.

Hadara Bar-Nadav is the author of four collections of poetry:_ __A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight _(Margie/Intuit House, 2007), which won the Margie Book Prize; _The Frame Called Ruin _(New Issues, 2012); Lullaby (with Exit Sign)(Saturnalia Books, 2013), awarded the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize; and The New Nudity (Saturnalia, 2017). Her chapbook, _Show Me Yours _(Laurel Review/GreenTower Press, 2010), was awarded the 2009 Midwest Poets Series Award. She is also co-author, with Michelle Boisseau, of Writing Poems, 8th edition (Pearson/Longman, 2011). Her work has appeared in Beloit Poetry JournalColorado ReviewAGNIDenver QuarterlyThe Iowa ReviewThe Kenyon ReviewPloughsharesPrairie SchoonerTriQuarterly, and elsewhere. An NEA fellow, she teaches in the MFA program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. (updated 2/2018)

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