Poem 317 ± April 16, 2016

Christine Hamm

As we empty bottles
of Nyquil together to fall

out of this world of smoke
and bruises, the music of the spheres

plays in your backyard pool.
We sit holding hands under the burning

pastel surface, watching the cuts
on our arms turn the water orange.

You want to take what is owed you
out of my flesh with your childproof

scissors. Then you try them on my hair,
and I can’t blame you. Life lines erased

by too much chlorine. Poolside, piles
of silk slips and safety glass are pillows:

woken by the stinking tongue of your dog,
his heart stitched to our slow celebration.


Christine HammChristine Hamm is the author of Echo Park (Blazevox, 2011) and A is for Absence (New Orleans Review, 2014), among other collections. Her poems have appeared in Orbis, Nat Brut, BODY, Poetry Midwest, Rattle, Dark Sky, and many others. Holding a doctorate in American Poetics, Christine is an editor for Ping*Pong Press and teaches English at Pace University in New York City.