[B]urnt raggedy-ann arm.   Kicking at the carbonized nightstand, the tangled pool of silver centerpiece.    Lace melted to the scorched cedar beam.   Barbie as a blackened voo-doo doll.    Book spines and nothing left.    That word you loved to slip
inside yourself, how it shaped your mouth as if you were chewing stone.   Not quite real, this side.

Grey handprints on the tablecloth shredded at the edges.    You were always crying and running home, you were always
breaking things with your hands and feet.    Half a charred Linus bedsheet.    Soot and ash on our faces, like some kind of
religious event.    This alphabet’s not the same as yesterday’s.

Violet sky as ceiling, fringed with dogwood branches.     A red leather chair.     A basketball.    A brown china horse.
What’s left on the lawn.     A tiny collie, yapping and yapping.




Christine Hamm is a PhD candidate in English Lit., and a former poetry editor for Ping*Pong. She won the MiPoesias First Annual Chapbook Competition with her manuscript, Children Having Trouble with Meat. Her poetry has been published in Orbis, Pebble Lake Review, Lodestar Quarterly, Poetry Midwest, Rattle, Dark Sky, and many others. She has been nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize, and she teaches English at CUNY. Echo Park, her third book of poems, came out from Blazevox in the fall of 2011. Christine was a runner-up to the Poet Laureate of Queens.