Sunlight Bruises: A Cento

by Charlotte Hamrick

Stumbling over barren plains
in a trance
across the sun, I can flinch
or I can remember
with resolute precision.
Stalling and starting,
clinging to script,
the crash to rough sand
and silt push through.
Nothing is ever neat, just
witness to emptiness.
I scavenged indifference,
just enough
to sustain me
until our eyes open for the last time,
until we hold hands for the last time.
You can ask if I’ve seen the skeleton
but do not speak
of rebirth.


Sources in order of appearance: “Take a Balloon and Go Sailing” (Paul Edward Costa Issue 12), “cornertable” (Linda Brooks Issue 12), “Recovery” (Thad DeVassie Issue 12), “Atrophy” (Sabrina Ito Issue 13), “River Streams” (Shome Dasgupta Issue 14), “Monarchs” (Katie Berger Issue 12).

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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