Nanette Rayman

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to the one

with Naked Ladys in her hands
bitter, timorous, visited
by moths at night, her fingers interlace

as if to squelch the sounds of bad-eared thugs
as if to tat all the tumultuous
low-jeaned brutes who rape

on this street, Fort Apache Wolf’s Bane leaping
mouths squirting language eyesores—
and still, the cops looking at her

as if they’d ingested foxglove tubes,
fused-up unwilling to go head-to-head
with those whacks of debauchery. A hand

reaches with reddest roses—she weeps—she knows
roses, memory is the self as pretty as a red red rose
near a lawn long ago. The hand keeps reaching.

A rookie. May the hand turn from flesh to heart.
Take her back to the lawn where she flourished as rose
and men did nothing but smoke on the porch.

Give her your other hand. She will surrender
those naked Amaryllis.


Nanette Rayman, author of poetry books, Shana Linda Pretty Pretty,  Project: Butterflies, Foothills Publishing, two-time Pushcart nominee, Best of the Net 2007, DZANC Best of the Web 2010, winner Glass Woman Prize for prose. Publications include The Worcester Review, Sugar House Review (poem mentioned at, Stirring's Steamiest Six, gargoyle, Berkeley Fiction Review, Editor's Pick for prose at Green Silk Journal, chaparral, Pedestal, ditch, Wilderness House Literary Review, decomp, Contemporary American Voices, featured poet at Up the Staircase Quarterly, Rain, Poetry & Disaster Society, Pedestal, DMQ, carte blanche, Oranges & Sardines, sundog , Melusine. Latest: Writing in a Woman’s Voice, 13 Myna Birds, Little Rose Magazine, isthmus, The Seventh Wave, Jewish Website, Scarlet Leaf Review, Red Wolf Journal. She performed off off Broadway, studied at Circle in the Square and with Gene Frankel. She graduated from The New School.