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  • Perfecting the Body in Three Steps
  • Clare Banks (bio)

After René Magritte’s Delusions of Grandeur

She leans in three iterations on a pedestal at hip height, a dark bronze fixes the grace of her epidermis.

First, she’s hips and upper thigh, wide ass, legs, and crotch. Hers is a body to leave, a failure of her maker’s form.

Second, she’s abdomen and lower ribs. Smaller this time— a successful revision, though there’s still that pop of belly

that, when she’s dressed, leans over her jeans. Evidence of pregnancy or a weakness for salt that’s important to erase.

By the third, she’s toned down. A petite ribcage, tight breasts, shoulders, a hint of neck. Headless and limbless, she’s a woman resected,

pared like an apple. Though perhaps she peeled herself, traded armor for emptiness, for a frame on which a dress hangs just so. [End Page 330]

Clare Banks

CLARE BANKS is associate editor for Smartish Pace. A 2014 recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award, her poems have appeared in Greensboro Review, Squaw Valley Review, and B O D Y, among others. She has an MFA in poetry from the University of Maryland and lives in Baltimore City.



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