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Death Poem for Nadine, 9

1)  Lately, I find myself pulling out my hair—

light strands all over the sofa, draping the long sleeves I wear

to cover my scars & I keep answering that stupid phone.

I’m not  imitating you, Miss Eyebrowless, Miss Death-chic, Miss Gone.

2) I’m trying not to sleep, and to stop writing. Your face

has changed.  I know this hospital, I know this is what the hospital

has done to you. Your face, a hairless Cro-Magnon,

like a poorly thought-out ape mask.

3) Two men in my class tell me I don’t know how

to write about grief — that I’m not showing enough

feeling. They tell me to read another poet,

one who has also lost a dog.

4) (This is my last dream of you. But you keep calling.)  


Christine Hamm is a PhD candidate in English lierature and a 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 for a Pushcart Prize four times, and she teaches English at CUNY. Echo Park, her third book of poems, came out from Blazevox last fall.