The Unnaming

By Hadara Bar-Nadav
Featured art: CV VII: Facial Nerve by Emi Olin

My father who named me will never
again call my name in this life

He eats the earth and eats,
silt filling his throat

A little door of light at the head
of his headstone

His name chiseled in and the date
his name ended

Born inside a strange language, not even
his vowels exist

Assemblage of letters one does not speak
like the true name of God

Prayer is a voice worn paper-thin, drifting
across the dirt

The bright word of him—entire
alphabet of loss

Hadara Bar-Nadav is an NEA fellow and author of several books of poetry, among them The New Nudity, Lullaby (with Exit Sign), The Frame Called Ruin, and A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight. She is also co-author of the text- book Writing Poems. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Poetry, and Tin House. She is a professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Instagram and Twitter: @hadarabar

Featured art – Emi Olin instagram:

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