Shelter in Place
A derelict cave lurks under my rib cage,
holds years of ragged breath,
and time-laden clay, hides
the hammering of living things
near dead, the dawn of every morning
sucked up into prayers.
In a firestorm of words,
terror waited in silence,
air washed in red
like Mars, like blood,
like the shredded heart of a broken child.
Swaddling the Beast
Why do the blues creep up
my spine on the most glorious days?
Balmy spring in its best finery, riotous
color, silken breezes, benevolent sunshine –
why does it mock me, tease me, test me?
Sometimes there’s loneliness
in so much beauty, despondency
in such perfection. The whole of creation
is indifferent, has no reason to consider
my blue moods so I hold on for storm clouds,
their shades of purple and gray, their softness
of light, how they swaddle my bête noire.
Charlotte Hamrick’s creative work has been published in numerous online and print journals,
most recently including The Citron Review, Emerge Journal, and New World Writing. She’s had
nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best Microfiction 2021, and was a Finalist for Micro Madness 2020. She reads for Fractured Lit and was the former CNF Editor for Barren
Magazine. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and a menagerie of rescued pets where
she sometimes does things other than read and write.
Featured photo by Cherry Laithang on Unsplash