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Home Is Where They Don't Have to Take You In

You hurled me out
of every room I rented
cast me out
as nomad
in the skirt of the universe

This December I pump
a hobo's heart
all I own boxed inside my skull
I fall down the rabbit-hole scalded
in zenanas behind lightning verandas

I don't settle
Unpack no suitcase
Enter no igloo
Your message
Is clear enough

This world is not
My home
Cassandra rebuffs the god
of mice and wolves
of structure
and straight lines

I dream of a house
Dahliabeds in the backyard
My years given back
as white as the
casual fall of snow on aluminum siding
as an eyelet lace sundress

Til then
I oversee my blood
feeding a small oil lamp
It gutters
but does not go out


Stockholm Syndrome at Thirteen

when your flat fedora voice
phlegm-wet after a smoke
imprinted sores like
all our conversations -
every which way
in the hemorrhaged house,
I couldn't tell
where you were
or if I should live

with hard-boiled egg-rage
clenched bicuspids
and wide watercress face
you whipped me into sticky
butter death
at thirteen

you forced my face in succotash
to T-bone uncertainty where
I feel most at home

so I stayed there
not knowing
which bare-bulbed road to navigate


Copyright © 2003 Nanette Rayman

Nanette Rayman has published poetry in a number of periodicals, including Square Lake, Fresh!, Three Candles, Concrete Wolf, Disquieting Muses, The Worcester Review, Words on a Wire, Millennium Papers, and Snow Monkey, and the Berkeley Fiction Review, and has received Honorable Mention in the 2000 Writer's Digest Fiction Contest. This is her third publication in Inkburns.