One Poem

Christine Hamm


I have come to the island again to visit my patient who deals pot and beats her children. She insists that we meet in her bedroom. A beautiful Japanese woman in very high heels comes in and takes our picture. For the camera, I stare soulfully at the oil painting of Michael Jackson and Jesus above the headboard. My patient pulls the blinds in her window, now everything is striped with light. I ask my patient what she has been eating. She complains that she threw her back out on Tuesday carrying her babies to the grocery store. She lies down on the bed and folds her hands across her chest. She closes her eyes. I lift piles of magazines and dirty silk lingerie off a chair and sit down. We begin to snore in unison.

Christine Hamm is a Ph.D. candidate in English Literature at Drew University, and teaches English and poetry at Rutgers University. She recently won the MiPoesias First Annual Chapbook Competition with her manuscript, Children Having Trouble with Meat. Her poetry has been published in The Adirondack Review, Rattle, Exquisite Corpse and over 90 other journals. She has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. Her book of poems, The Transparent Dinner was published by Mayapple Press in 2006. For more about her, go to