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Christine Hamm

The Latest Articulation Errors

Passage VI by Fabien Beuchet

I am finding my limits and they are my broken teeth, but still feel silk inside and out. Sometimes when I am on the six train, I use sounds other than words to be understood. I board like a normal person, while I forget my stop. When it stops. Bad day, and then I am the Victoria’s Secret Angel Super Model, my lips glued together just so, smiling with one glass eye, I am Joan of Arc, speaking in something like French, the Joan of impossible hip bones. I am my dead twin, a child with a cap full of blood, laughing now – she is the one who contained, the one who remembered, and no one will ever be what I am talking about again. No one ever —

Practicing as rabbits in the cage.

When I, mobbed by a wasp swarm.

And he said, gone crazy.

The eclipse punching a hole in our Sunday.

I said no I was stung and he.

Cousins pushing us into the barn, locking the door.

Though dresses of different sizes.

He did something, said he was saving me.

Then everything was putting up with that, my crazy.

While, you, a six, and me, a twelve.

The sound of hay under our sneakers.

In the backyard for a mirrored photo.

When, my exact words were, but sounded like:

We were singing in the barn, touching the cow noses.

Then, that last month, flowers shitting Zen music.

(Stroking the sleepy hens.)

Soft artificial, soft pastel.

(“yes, but you shouldn’t.”)

Blankets, as you, starving out of his reach.

We sat (we lay) smelling vomit below pink air freshner.

And then, not really knowing if you could still smell.

He was slower, behind the sliding glass door.

I back and back away from him still.


About the writer:
Christine E. Hamm (she/her), queer & disabled English Professor, social worker and student of Ecopoetics, has a PhD in English, and lives in New Jersey. She recently won the Tenth Gate prize from Word Works for her manuscript Gorilla. She has had work featured in North American Review, Nat Brut, Painted Bride Quarterly and many others.

Image: Passage VI by Fabien Beuchet (contemporary). Gouache on paper. 16 x 12 inches. 2017. By permission. Fabien Beuchet is an artist, teacher, and art critic from France. He is currently developing an international life project made of painting, photography, art history, and art criticism to allow us to build bridges of creativity across media.

OJAL Art Incorporated, publishing since 2017 as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprint Buttonhook Press, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporationsupporting writers and artists worldwide.

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