Issue 5 – Winter 2003 – Elisabeth Hamilton

Elisabeth Hamilton



Something is happening. Something
is about to happen-
hearing the sounds of great trembling
before the trees nod at a
startling arrival.
You have sliced open the past
like the belly of a fish.
I am staring at its entrails
and the tiny roundness
of the heart, the liver.
You de-bone memory by
pinching at the spine and
ripping her open, carrying
each rib of sight and sound along,
out of the scaled flesh of thought
and into the air, the light.
And now you have gutted me, too,
to make me look at the inlay-
to see that along the slippery
covering of my trachea
leading down through my belly there are
whispers to be pushed out like flies
and beneath them the plush, warm,
beating push of my own blood,
which you finger like my hair,
tucking it, stroking gently,
naming it with your hands.



Elisabeth Hamilton was raised in Palo Alto, California. She received a B.A. from Wellesley College in 2001, and went on to get her Masters in English Education from Teachers College at Columbia University in 2003. She currently lives and teaches in New York City.