Sleepwalking Season: A Cento

by Charlotte Hamrick

He left behind the imprint
of his shape, the folds smelled familiar.
At night I breathed them in
to help me sleep.

There was a white death grip
around the moon and a green song
in the wind, lashing against
the tied-up night dirtied

with dry chips of old leaves, chunks
of carbuncular tree bark, shattered
confessions of eternal love flying
between heaven and hell and never landing.

I should take a match to them, watch
you become a phoenix above me,
the chest of night streaming
it’s hair like so many long dreams.

There is no changing of seasons,
the night so orange so perfect
so impossible it hurts to look,
the exhaust of a thousand ghosts.


Sources in order of appearance: “Still Here” (Ruth Quinlan Issue 2), “Barricaded Season” (Sheri Grutz Issue 1), “Rum Girl, Beaufort” (Seth Copeland Issue 1), “Barricaded Season” (Sheri Grutz Issue 1), “Already Elsewhere” (Josh Callum Issue 3).

Charlotte Hamrick’s creative work has been published in numerous online and print journals and anthologies including Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Blog, Emerge Literary Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Rumpus, and New World Writing. She is Creative Nonfiction Editor for The Citron Review. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and a menagerie of rescued pets.

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