conceit like some updated parched Saturday Night
Live church lady inhaling self-righteous snake-oil.
Trees fenced off from the sidewalk, impotent
to give shade left late into autumn yield to their cages.
Lavender lace sweater tied around my waist, caliente October.
Antediluvian air made of uneasy transplanted woman walking, a thing
people do--pink communist flowers all the same to you,
ditto flowers gone floppy and brittle as calcium-
deficient fingernails. I needed too much from this air of dead
flowers--that they hold out promise or have the decency
to pretend and just pose. Sweetheart lady in the dull blue car, I
would never go against the right of way, but you see, you saw
me, you see-only-me as you ram and I gasp and you ram harder and I fly
like a ballerina in adagio, a song crumpled out into the sun to scatter.
Darling cop, I pull my ear, sounds, gauche in their landing, break my drum.
What did you say? Oh, you don’t want my statement? My heart droops
on the rammer kept at bay. Days later, I spastically push the thin blue
line, baby steps, giant footprints way beyond the sound.
The only hand that can cease my mouth smokes, please stop, sweet hand.
The rotten Tulsa PD, foreign as chicken-fried steak, sings to me, Bitch!
No report. False report. Civic Center melee, a song that calls for me,
spasms while the thirsty blue-car lady is eating
through me. Listen to the nusach of the dying
unharnessed every night, lonely overdue hospital
bills spilling over my muscled lace arms.
Let me abscond now.
If I knew Tulsa would be this dismal, I would have gone sooner.
Unassigned land crawls through sinkholes they tell me drain rainwater.
I have no song for I came after the land-runs. Like flying
off the hood of a dull blue car, I have no more doubts about water
or Tulsa when early autumn sinks to late December, when the prison
wall gall stinks like dirty cops, when manure & forlorn sound erases
sight to the invisible world where scrims are the scene
and curtains of flight await.
Nanette Rayman is the first winner of the Glass Woman Prize for writing. She has two poetry books published: Shana Linda, Pretty Pretty and Project: Butterflies from Foothills Publishing. Nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, she has published in The Worcester Review, The Berkeley Fiction Review, gargoyle, Pedestal, magnolia, Oranges & Sardines, up the staircase featured writer, Arsenic Lobster, Red Ochre Literature, Stirring’s Steamiest Six, carte blanche, Wilderness House Literary Review, deComp, grasslilmb, Arsenic Lobster, Prick of the Spindle, Carousel and Sugar House Review where her poem, One Potato, Two, was mentioned in Newpages.com. A story was included in DZANC Books Best of the Web 2010 and a poem, “Shoes” was included in Best of the Net Anthology 2007. Her poem, “hope” was nominated for Best of the Net Anthology by Glass Journal. A portion of a one act play she wrote was performed for her in Israel in 2013. She attended Circle in the Square Theatre School and the New School. She has performed in many off off Broadway shows.