Christine Hamm has a doctorate in modern American poetry and teaches writing and lit in NYC. She has published three books of poetry -- her most recent book, Echo Park, came out from Blazevox. She is the former poetry editor for Ping*Pong journal, published by the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur.
Everyone is wishing you'd leave, here in the library of empty waves.
Sewing and fishing are the same: patience, repetition, blood.
I am sewing a red bird
to the hem of your work jeans.
Everyone is wishing.
You sit on my lap, chew your fingernails and twitch.
The librarian turns up the white noise, hoping you'll be drowned out.
with a flag made with what's left
of her underwear. You throw her
a thigh bone. She growls, buries the bone
with her little paws
in a sky colored nonspecific:
the moon mumbles
Huge white flakes sift down from the clouds, cover the stern, the bow.
A loose sail whines without wind.
The snow turns to feeble moths, either drunk or slowly dying.
One lands on your eye. You whimper and freeze.
We all fall into the earth,
into the shoebox of your accident.
The water starts over with what's left.
You call for me as if I could hear, your voice
a phone's drowsy ring.
(I feel most myself when I am falling)
After you knot cords around a cleat, you tuck
my sky-blue baseball cap under the photo
of my mother kneeling,
under the cracked bowl of porridge.
(ashes, ashes, we all fall down)
You shuck your bloody deck shoes over the gunnel.
I left your names for me: mousetrap,
rat bait, poison cake.
The clouds vomit
like a sick daughter.
You are wearing my rocks on your head,
still holding me just under
My yellow one-piece, covered with star
-fish and clamshells, fills
with bubbles, writhes
and subsides. I kick at you with my pink
galoshes – one broken strap flailing
– but they are filled
with water, heavy, and I
never quite reach your arms.