the falling man

He floated he floated he choreographed
his en cloche frame down with faille
the ariel-dancer impacting down
& he had the retinue of those most
in need, who gaped as he drifted over
by the angels, their mouths shaped by the prayers they
felt would outdo the angels, because angels have chains.

They felt they would guide him down
from the upside down gutter of his
fall. Millions in all, glued to him, skulls propped
above wet pillows, G-d prismatoidal on
the dying pelts of their stomachs, he drifted
to the suffering in defiance, allowing the beads
of his sweat to glide along our bodies, our faces,
emanating light as sweet & pink as that known in
a rainy rose, leaving a rainbow in his place

above the bone of all touched, a sound
like a hoarse refrain stopped in their lips. In awe

of the man falling before them, his hands amplified to
majesty, behind him, inexplicably calm
sculpting themselves into water magicians
done with their paddles, left to one shape—
the silence explosive there.
Isolated and One, we let him go
to the lapidary, rosy battement crossroads,
a hunger he took as memory now
& we took as tongues, impaled belief
wings peeled developed apart from.


Tulsa PD are not Real Cops
or: What are the Odds of Being Run Over when Going to Buy a Suitcase

When I’m done and gone after buying a suitcase, honey, you’ll be shocked
to see your banged up body pacing and wafting
when you finally know you are stitched to that other
side of the universe. Freedom calls.

Dangling from the Tulsa Tulsy Old Town sky today
like a dead blazing daisy was the strangest
most ominous sun I have ever seen.

What dreams may come for a domestic
eclipse, and my solo flight
through trees reaching out fingers as I inhale
and try not think about the hands around my neck—

     What dreams may die on sidewalks, yield signs of grieving,
     forgotten in one flash.

The parallel traffic drones like vorticed insects or a warm helicopter. One
step across Yorktown Street, and one stare at a driver in the eye. She
rams me once then rams me again, & I fly

          off her hood not right smack on the graying
          ground like a cigarette in an ashtray. A deranged
          ballerina in adagio, bone on bone is the new jail
          door clanging shut to escape.

               I tried to come back
               to earth, into my body crushed blueberries in a torn basket.

I already know much about cops, how they flit from scene to scene
the way sweat bees and their long proboscises feed on nectar. Worst of all
the innocent are used shoddily like a spray of lilies, but we are mocking
birds you make shed our fight and makeup in lonely rooms. See the bills
piling up, the steam in my nostrils. To be merely
a woman who is allergic to bees, a woman who paints
roses and itches to have my rights back, the rain begins.
To find out later that the cop took
no report, ignored the witness, that the cops at the station
gave me a fake report number, and let the criminal driver go,
is as if that ominous sun would be the last
sun, its first rays of next summer
being the hardest to produce.


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, Red Ochre Literature, frigg, 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 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. Rayman has performed in many off off Broadway shows.

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