I Am Neither Surgical

I Am Neither Surgical

nor magical. I am the one who waits in a white
            waiting room and wishes the one being cut

open in his chemical sleep will awaken. A pig
            died for this. Mitral valve harvested, unfixed. 

My brother become part pig, part sin. Altered
            and alive. A beast beating inside him. He wears

his severance, scarred navel to neck—tattoo
            of pink violences.

Does the animal live on, does its death? Breath
            born of slaughter and stitchery.

My brother’s heart machine beeps green—box
            of brute lightning.

He opens his eyes, asks for whiskey, strawberry
            ice cream, and a pile of baby back ribs.

May pianos line his second life, stringed
            symphony of sutures and ivory.

Hadara Bar-Nadav is an NEA fellow and author of several award-winning books of poetry, among them The Singing Pills (forthcoming), The New Nudity, Lullaby (with Exit Sign), The Frame Called Ruin, and A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight, as well as the chapbooks Fountain and Furnace and Show Me Yours. She is also co-author with Michelle Boisseau of the best-selling textbook Writing Poems, 8th ed. Hadara is a Professor of English and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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Dr.Richard Walker
March 2, 2023 8:01 am

This is really a beautiful poem; I really like it and have read it again and again. And my favorite line: “Does the animal live on after its death? – Truly very nice 👍👏

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