Glorious Veils of DianePlaylist by Rainie Oet
Rainie Oet’s Glorious Veils of Diane is a revelation, a reveling both unpredictable and terrifyingly familiar—in prose poems that stain the mind long after reading. For Diane, horror is a comfort, a realm of safety to a trans body made monstrous to itself. Choral and haunting, images and language fragments fold in and out of this story, and Oet unsettles with an artful grace.
March 14, 1993
Come into the dark kitchen to see Diane on a step stool cooking meat.
“Happy birthday Diane,” she whispers to me in the dark.
March 14, 2007
My daughter’s hiding in the huge closet, full of shirts hanging down. I run in to try to find her, get her on my first try. The air’s so thick with dresses, we can’t see each other’s faces. But I hug her and I run with her standing on my toes, just like old times. We’re breathing hard. I say “I’ve got you Diane.” Then I let her go.
Then it is my turn to hide as they count to ten. I’m going to play a trick on them. I’m going to disappear. I find my blind way through the clothes into a bathroom, and lock the door and breathe quietly. I wait in there for hours.
It’s getting light outside. Between me and the door is a spider web. It’s huge. I don’t know how I got through it the first time. I only see it now because of the sun glinting off marshes in the east.
Diane is a type of sadness I have only one word for. Finally, I leave the bathroom. They’ve put away all the clothes. An empty hall, and my daughter’s gone. I stand in it, calling out her name.
March 15, 1994
The moth on fire in Diane’s yard, across the street, jerking to follow the trail of its own glowing smoke, can’t realize it is the light it seeks, is on fire. The light of this fire throws wing-shadows onto the unbraiding smoke. Enormous, these shadows pound against time. I feel self-conscious, watching.
March 15, 1995
Diane remembers a red dragon kite whipping over the roof, how she cut her hand holding the string still.
Diane touches her eyeball with the tip of her finger.
It’s one minute after midnight, and her birthday is over.
A crow slammed into the window. It was there and gone so fast Diane wasn’t sure if it was real.
Diane’s frog died and Diane sang “Yedid Nefesh” for it before flushing it in the toilet. As the water spun, she saw its legs kicking.