NANDI COMER

October 30, 2010

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More Pleasant Events

Below a man yells at a woman
like she is his girl. The harsh, “bitch”
announces it is summer.
I look up from my reading and I listen

for her to laugh it off, so I can to sink
into the cushions of my chair, so I
can soak up a slow afternoon. Still, I listen.
The season’s clamor carries into my apartment.

I discern a bus railing past, a sparrow’s trill.
The faint slaps that follow seem to be the mans hands
clapping in rhythm to a love song blaring from their radio.
My body begins its ease,

until the woman’s “fuck you” brings me to my window.
I’m am not sure if I will call the police, or if any one else
will. We are always waiting for more pleasant events.

Later, he’ll hang his arm around her neck to convince
us there was no blood. They’ll lower their voices.
They’ll flatten their glares into deep-stomached laughter.

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Assembling Mother

Teeth from the riverbank, a knee
from the playground, we always find the ears first.
Brother finds her arms in the sink again
All of her is brought to the bedroom.
We fasten every heavy part,
Sometimes Brother can’t find all of her
so we give her some one’s hands.
She sobs when she gets her eyes,
begins twisting around the house,
limps through the door.
We grab our buckets.

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The Evil Stepmother

She ate my apple because death was better.
Because it was easier than removing ore
from her neck.
I watched their deformed arced fingers
maul her skin. There were seven fantasies
to fulfill. I watched her eyes swallow that apple.
To rinse out the mineral kisses from her throat.
After she submitted too much. She did submit.
I gave her pity, seeing her white skin grayed
and dirty. They’d made her chattel, a serf
Because each day was one of theirs to keep.
An apple? Jealousy?
I gave her the apple to avoid hearing
her name from my mirror.
I did feast thinking I’d eaten her liver.
A better fate than seven plates,
seven spoons, and seven desires.

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Foreclosure Notice #1: Girl’s Nights Out

Every weekend I return to my city
Its bright downtown makes my cul-de-sac
look like a dead end. You just learn
to walk around their slouched bodies,
their stink their down-and-out.
How many coins does it really take?

My Self Defense teacher,
says never give them money from your wallet.
They’ll snatch it and run. This one’s probably got a buddy
at the corner watching to make sure we don’t escape,
but I don’t come down here without my pepper spray.

I just want to enjoy the city. It’s cheap.
I love catching a ball game, having dinner with the girls,
or a big win at the casino.
Here there’s no past due mortgage, no husband
waddling in from work, ready to eat.
Just drinks, dinner and lights. It’s the best.

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Nandi Comer was raised in Detroit, Michigan. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Poetry and an MA in African and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University. She is a Cave Canem fellow.

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One Response to “NANDI COMER”

  1. Leslie Reese Says:

    Yey! I found you!—or at least your good work! I am so glad you are still writing and I look forward to your book! All Best, and have a happy 2011.


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