Christine Hamm


 

Twilight Zone Theme Song

 

16 months and I'm still dreaming your birthday. 
A pitcher of milk upended over your donkey's head. 
A collection of swollen green flowers, mouthing your
elegy.  Moths fluttering like the gentle hands of spastics,
ankles and wrists contracted, the better to hold you with.

Black and white, you retreat into three-sided rooms
of methadone memory, every mother a looming camera
you pretend not to see, every pet terrier on batteries
about to run down.

It seems obvious that the swallows died first, falling
with an endless series of sighs.

This wall has a whole human-sized slit in it, a portal
to a closet-sized sky, clouds like miniature tea cups,
silver painted gloves jerking on nearly invisible strings.

You wrote the same word over and over.  You invited
God into the room with you and then burned the house down.

 

 

 

Burnt Fields

 

I don't watch the mirror. I am in love
with the weeping girl downstairs.
In my dreams, the light fades
with a violet undertone,
a half-heard song.

My childhood was the size of a closet, an unlit
red room stinking of earth, dead
animals and hunger,
while the record player rasped a polka
in the front yard.

 

 

 

Shadow Hobbies

 

Somebody signing the motel registry
left-handed, someone
else pretending to be my dad
or brother. The vodka
from my father's boot
in the pocket of my jeans jacket.

Kneeling, a new kind of cardboard
angel. Bending, and falling
out of windows.

Here's where the rupture in my ear
holes started, God's dead music:
a piano playing underwater.