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Poetry: Nanette Rayman

Beautiful girl grieves for her father

I'd see her
flickering beneath cherry trees
in her bubble-
round rain-boat:       eyes mocha silver-dollars
             the word help
written in water colors across
her forehead

nothing stirred
but a moth hung
on a lamp

I waved to that girl
she waved back
like a chrysalis     without scale or quaver
magically eerie brew of sodium

They'd have her shuffle
nude, flamingo
in a nut ward, scouring
movies and magazines for
her lost face
         the word whyme?
painted pointillism across
her blackberry lips
pressed to his
paper ones
leaving no trace


With Dionysus

flimsy strap of her sundress falls
she loosens the top button
to let in eternity

another potato-moth's
white parting, she wants to breathe all
into her body, loosen lilies from trumpets,
flock to mutter and chatter of fingers, given
 to forgotten language

finite world unravels
as a thread, as ginger, as air, light

 as angel cake causing
willow branches to sway, as if their weight
held the weight of stilled water, held her
near the surface, constellations glimmering

she lies down with stones to vanish,
 verse and the cadence of tragedy on lips
 she lies down in havoc—infinite
 armed silhouette flailing the underbelly

though she's been waiting and preening
all her life, how little it has to do with
this fauna, how much she knows
transformation from this element
to another is a mystery.


Copyright © 2002 Nanette Rayman

Nanette Rayman has published poetry in a number of periodicals, including Three Candles, Concrete Wolf, and Disquieting Muses, among others. Upcoming poetry will be in The Worcester Review, Words on a Wire, Millennium Papers and Snow Monkey. She was recently published in the Berkeley Fiction Review and received Honorable Mention in the 2000 Writer's Digest Fiction Contest.