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Hiding out under the bleachers 

with a chest as empty 

as the bed I can’t sleep in anymore. 

They're still in love with America. 

I pass out, kissing my friend’s floor. 

On the hardwood. 

Cocoon myself in an overture of dark— 

slip back— 


Into that nether-place. Under the table.

Let no one see— 

The camera 

(which is really an unfortunate creature)

Chiaroscuro: “light-dark” 

How to keep it “lowkey” 

We can hang, but— 

Let’s skip past the bad part. 

The blur, white-surf of no sound— 

Come back to October. 

Red and gone, like ghosts from every tree. 

Did you know I still live there? In the trunk

of his car— cypress drenched 

in the drizzle of 

What if nothing really happened? 

A fake season: 

The flora in a mad, wrong bloom against death.

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.


And the lights blare out 

one-by-one, in a starless ripple— 

Until nothing else can go wrong. 

Until we’re alone again. Counting dark

I used to think there were fairies in the streetlamps. Now I’m scared of God in everything— 

And the gun

Forgot where we hid it— 

Carjack the ribcage. Lock the door. 

Can you speak my secret name? 

Can you fix me? 

Haven’t asked for a savior in a long, long           time.

But I’ll talk to you, 

if you’ll talk to me. 

I’ll white-walk 

to the nearest crossroads. Leave the antlers 

as an offering. As photographic evidence 

to the forest-gore of our surviving. 

I will bury this life. 

I will not have another.

Harrison Hamm is a poet, screenwriter, and critical essayist originally from rural Tennessee, now based in Los Angeles. A 2023 Filmmaker's Workshop Fellow with New York Stage and Film and a 2022 Screenwriting Fellow in Diverso's The Minority Report, his writing can be found at and published/forthcoming in Fatal Flaw Literary, Broken Antler, Stone of Madness Press and more.

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