Poems By Nanette Rayman
When she makes a seam of her tubes,
the lupine under butterflies escape the set flame.
Stops her eggs' trajectory into blood-
grubber men heaving and knotty above her.
When the eggs generate, she can make a seam
of her dreams. Frame after frame. Force their stunned
descent beneath tough night. Absorbent as a mango rind.
Can define the forgotten power-lines clotting her tongue.
Can brainstorm names for babies beneath the rifle-slung
swirl of sexual dung. Natalie, Laura.
Her good fathers heart a crutch. The world is all blinks
and who-she-loves slips from his skin.
The eggs begin again when there is only one beeline.
A torpid fall -- faithful, phantasmal
She is the tomb of many stars
this voyage implanted within her.
All Things Sick and Pretty
- to Jose
Don't let me live without you: I wanted much, attained little
with my garden of lyre-leaf sage and rose angels gone to some
project-girl in black. A pot of dilled chicken soup simmers on
the red wolves in the hallway rubbing horny noses on the door,
who you fight off like BeastMaster. How did I get here, what
slap led to this cage. I was a girl once, in a blue eyelet
I would be the new Ava Gardner. Not this woman who bows toward
the limited areas she's confined to. So delicate, so outcast a
you could pocket with a guarded hand. And you did. I try to
my spiral through rape and lupine, through that mother who shed
me like skin,
to catch you up on trillium, or describe pretty-girl or damned,
on a haven never-come, but for you. Down in this yellow disease
divided into a large terminal lobe, small lateral poorhouse and
That gorgeous strength of the heart. As ignored by red wolves.
As given through foxglove. A dense blazing star, and You.
The movement of shoes and trains, each step and whistle
woodwind sirens of death, each splits
breath in two. Hiding in a barn as a little girl,
fear of being found or jostled out
you lightly opened the shed, let the stars
who slept with you, in.
What drives you are all brittle moments
when you know yourself from the enemy opposite.
You cup your hand around your hearts 4 by 6 shelter,
dreaming of shoes you saw a smiling lady wear
on her way to meet her lover.
And as the woman's soles went down in mud
she loosened her puff-sleeved dress
that fell to dust, her body like lines of silver
train, her hair untamed sweat and she didn't care.
She twirled in her black suede platforms with the open toe.
She had such a time, licked her lips to life.
You sleep standing up in the dress
your mother made you, loose threads
work into your skin. Below the mottled
mewling tracks, hold out by Shema, hold
yourself tight. Weightless girl, don't move, don't dance
the sky's too piebald to see you were here,
your pretty shoes lost in snow.
No one is naming you; I will name your shoes.
Mary Jane, T-strap, Rounded Toe. They're sailing
down the gaunt hill like cabbage, their leather,
spiked hides of chronicle, of clouds, crack
on soft ice they've traveled
with the toll-takers mist for breath.
Nanette Rayman Rivera has published in The Berkeley Fiction
Review, The Worcester Review, Dragonfire, MiPOesias, The
Pittsburgh Quarterly, Pedestal, Carousel, Wicked Alice, The
Pebble Lake Review, AntiMuse, Sein Und Werden, andwerve,
Barnwood, The Centrifugal Eye, Words and Pictures, Her Circle,
Poesia, Arsenic Lobster, Stirring, Flashquake, A Little Poetry,
DMQ Review, Velvet Avalanche Anthology, Verse Libre, Erosha,
Three Candles, Snow Monkey, Jack, Flutter, Small Spiral
Notebook, Carve Magazine, 5 Trope, Mindfire Renewed, Grasslimb,
Wanderings, Concrete Wolf, Rogues Scholars, remark, eye-rhyme,
Central Avenue, Red River Review, Mannequin Envy, and
Underground Window among others. She was nominated for two
Pushcart Prizes this year: Arsenic Lobster for poetry and
Dragonfire for memoir. Upcoming: Gambara, Wheelhouse, The
Externalist. Her first poetry collection will be published in
March by Foothills Publishing.