manhattan, kansas

by Nanette Rayman Rivera

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I come to the window with nicotine curtains, fancy
seeing doppelganger-me seeing an archetier,
loaf of bow rosin, ginger wound scarlet over horse hair. 
I tell you it shouldn’t end like this, not for

my solvent bowed lips, but because I imagined I’d
play the violin.  This must be a dream, rapacious
red scrawled on medicine mirror bastardly
hung over dolly porcelain sink: help—soon

I’ll be homeless, and the homeless can
do what the dead do.  Dart into your world
in a hum of whore-cloth; we come pretty
educated swan-women, not mute, clicking
our heels in unison to Manhattan, Kansas.

In the moldy carpet then mirror then concrete in which the hell
O—please let me stay but see the marshal comes see what he’ll do

is meticulous like something a lip-print has held, or a lip has been used for
a latitude I need one of those now I have no safeguards leave only my lip no

trace else out the window but see the real me in the arms of the archetier.

Nanette Rayman Rivera, two-time Pushcart nominee is the author of the new poetry collection, shana linda ~ pretty pretty, published by Scattered Light Publications and available at . She is the first winner of the Glass Woman Prize for memoir Her first poetry collection,  Project:Butterflies is available from Foothills Publishing

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