vast to me and terribly warm

The bedrooms smelled of cow urine and buttery

corn. The shed was a nest for spiders with the

faces of children. The sun


a cracked plate, sponged and rewashed, returning

like the dark cycle of chores and meals, the fat-

necked men filling them-


selves until they could barely move from their chairs,

the women chatting slowly in the kitchen, washing

and stacking, the low


white ceiling dripping from the steam of the sink.

* The title is a line is from Affinity by Sarah Waters,

a queer gothic drama set in the late 19th Century

** This poem is part of a series provisionally called

Your Body is a Curséd House


Christine E. Hamm (she/her) is a queer & disabled English professor, social worker, and student of ecopoetics. She has a PhD in English and lives in New Jersey. She recently won the Tenth Gate Prize from Word Works for her manuscript Gorilla. She has had work featured in North American Review, Nat Brut, Painted Bride Quarterly, and many others. She has published six chapbooks and several books—including Saints & Cannibals.

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