by Christine Hamm
At 14, I am visited by strange green flies and visions of the virgin.
out of focus. Her hair appears to be pink. She speaks only in Greek.
shake my head because I don't understand, she gives me the finger.
My sisters pinch me and talk about a fixation on Britney Spears.
Each night the moon is full. The flies avoid the TV, but cling to the
mirrors. My sisters swat at them and glare. Sometimes I look at myself
photos late into the night. I was different then, before I was called.
then I have shaved my head and sleep on the floor. I only bathe in
Still, the virgin torments me. Her sarcasm is enormous. My dreams are
with blocks of color. Sometimes I dream with my eyes open. The teachers
school resent this. My mother can do nothing with me. My sisters tie my
behind my back and leave me in a closet for days. The virgin persists.
I begin to think the virgin resides in one of my bicuspids, and I
remove it. My father offers me his pliers.
They bury me at sunset next to my grandmother. Purple roses spring
spontaneously from my grave. During the wake, the virgin appears and
over the TV set. She points to my youngest sister. My youngest sister
herself. The others move their chairs away.
Woman in Search of her Sex
She became obsessed with getting water into her body. She took two hour
followed by hour long handstands. Her bookcases were filled with enemas
douches. They were arranged according to color and scent. She drank ten
gallons of Poland Spring a day. Her kidneys hibernated and had
She put a funnel in her ear and poured in rose water. She stuck her
a sinkful of water and inhaled.
She became more and more pale and indistinct. When she opened her mouth
speak, one could hear the faint crash of waves in the background. Her
murmured with the lonely sonar calls of whales. Her skin became scaly.
hair started to fall out. Her eyes became huge and stopped focusing on
anything. She stopped saying hello to the women in the apartment next
when she got her mail. She stopped getting her mail.
She cut herself shaving and something vaguely orange oozed out. Her
dropped off. A huge fish tank, fishless but full, sat in her bedroom.
night, neighbors in the building across the way could see her face
illuminated by the fish tank glow. She gestured and spoke eloquently to
The neighbors called the cops. The cops took her away.
The apartment stood empty for two years. Mold crept into huge snowflake
shapes along the windowsills.
Then the neighbors saw the woman again, at night. She had grown
was shiny and naked at all times. She let her breasts rub against the
as she painted the window panes black.
The neighbors called the cops. The cops went into the apartment and
disappeared. The neighbors called more cops. More cops came. There was
accident. The building was burned to the ground. The smell of burnt
The neighbors moved away. They moved to the ocean. They were visited by
spells of melancholia and nose bleeds. They regretted the city. They
eventually lost at sea.
©2002 by Christine Hamm