Catherine Hamrick


Your office window pictures your straight-line story,
An everyday map locating secure bearings:
The college that buried you in seductive words,
The ancient cemetery desired by your urn,
The trees cooling domestic salt-dome upheaval,
The commute of right angles and stoplight seething.

You craved star journeys, but got a boyish big bang,
A seven-iron swing to the skull—and cell-flash of
Red-orange-yellow-blue-green spectrum explosions.

Ripped from its snug wall, your blood-rich left retina
Drowned in poisonous fluid, a ghostly planet
Fading to brown-purple and streaking milky pink.

Your frozen iris gapes, windowless to sunlight
And my heat-tipped fingers flirting inches away;
Your right eye cautiously frames me out of the view.

©2005 Catherine Hamrick

Catherine Hamrick, born in Birmingham, now lives in Chapel Hill. Her work has appeared in Southern Living, Cooking Light, Southern Accents, and Better Homes and Gardens.