Christine Hamm

galloping away in slo-mo

The backyard, a field of muck and tires. The hound dog huddles in his blackened shack, too preoccupied to howl at your head lamp after midnight. The wind and then the rain. I wasn’t sure if we were burying your alter-ego or digging her up. You said the antlers in the bucket were part of you, asked me if you should burn your necklace, the one with someone else’s name. I asked you to share your needle. You turned your head to hide your smirk, and your lamp lit up the tree above, leaves wet and shining.

Your Boat

Sewing and fishing are the same:
patience, repetition, blood.

I am sewing a red bird to the hem of your
work jeans, right where Mom’s fingernails
tore off a chunk.

You sing “Lucy in the Sky
is Crying,” pinching the Angus yearlings
in the steerage with a tuning fork, chortling.

Here in the library of empty waves, everyone
is wishing you’d take off in your day-glo heliocopter.

The librarian waves for help with a flag
made with what’s left of her underwear.
You jump
onto my lap, chew your fingernails and twitch.
The librarian turns up the white
noise, hoping you’ll be drowned out.

She straightens her straw hat, coughs and growls,
buries a bone with her little paws
in the copyrighted sky.

Huge white flakes sift down from the clouds, cover the stern,
the mast. A loose sail whips in the windless buzz,

you grab my ear with your greasy
thumbs, whisper, that part’s
called the shroud.

The snow turns into slow, feeble moths,
either drunk or dying. One lands on your eye. You call
for more salt , more ketchup.

We all fall past the waves, into the earth,
into the shoebox of your accident.

The water starts over with what’s left.

Christine Hamm has a PhD in American Poetics, and is a former poetry editor for Ping*Pong. Her poetry has been published in Orbis, Nat Brut, BODY, Poetry Midwest, Rattle, Dark Sky, and many others. She has been nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize, and she teaches English at Pace. Echo Park, her third book of poems, came out from Blazevox in the fall of 2011. The New Orleans Review published Christine’s latest chapbook, A is for Absence, in the fall of 2014, and nominated her work for a Pushcart.

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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of eight books and chapbooks, including This Visit (Blazevox, 2015), How to be Another (Cervena Barva Press, 2014), and State of the Union (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2014). Her ninth book, Heisenberg’s Salon, is available now for pre-order from Blazevox. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, and Verse Daily.