the poetry that matters

Kate Hammerich

Kate Hammerich graduated with a BA in English and ended up as a baker. She has been published in The Susquehanna Review and has self-published two books, escape artist and hallucinations, cancer & the purple tree.

the love affair

life slides under the door and
I think about you not knowing how to love
and touching a person's sleeping eyelids

to change a dream, to lie here with you
under a silent oak tree, the sunlight

has begun to breathe and I am digging you a grave
for your past and your future, I am

holding you here, the trunk of my car open to let the sweet
sound of a song rise into the
air, it is rushing by

too swiftly

and I have premonitions or
I just got lucky or everything
means something

nothing vanishes without a trace

I hold despair in the palm of my hand and cannot dance
without spilling it onto the floor, it
seeps into the carpet

but you are holding out a towel and the sound
of your laughter is like paper birds settling on the branches of
the tree growing from my ribs
the artist 
there is a colour in my brain, I write the word colour,
I ramble through a box of crayons from years ago, I touch robin’s eggs, I
see a colour and name it peace or maybe war
I drop my pen and come up with a paintbrush, I think desire and watch the
wings of a pelican change colour in the sky, disappear, flash back, think of
a day, black and white,
I read about a flower that is yellow, but I
don’t want yellow, I want the sun against my skin, the colour that
an exhale makes in the summer when everyone tells me you cannot see your
in the summer, there is a trembling in my yellow, there is a quickness
in my breath and you cannot paint quickness, you cannot write
she has taken up dancing 
she thinks of suicide
as a lost art.

she wakes to write a poem, her face
is not listening to her and it is

she touches her daughter’s sleeping limbs,

feels love like a tidal wave, picks up a boulder,
rises to greet it;

it is May and the tree outside her window is bare,
she begins singing out loud.

she speaks in French,
she has never heard the words, but
reading them from the page, they sound like
birds taking flight.
a small crime 
as if I have been asleep my whole life.
as if waking had a colour, the
blue, the red,
the colour of eyelids
as if all I have ever known is the
early morning blankets,
the slow breathing,
the sweat, the still-
a human being cannot live like this
you are on fire,
you are burning,
I cannot help
but watch
you, like the fresh
cut ends of hair,
grass blades newly sharpened,
the ring of tiny bells
the capacity to love,
I want to dig it out of your


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